Britni Johnson recorded 10 kills, but it wasn't enough as University of Mount Olive fell to Southern Wesleyan University 25-20, 25-13, 25-22 in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Marissa Turnage added 10 digs in her first start of the season.
Mount Olive (2-12 overall, 1-3 Conference Carolinas) rallied from an early three-point deficit in the opening set as Johnson and Danielle Plante recorded two kills apiece to help the Trojans tie the set 11-11. Southern Wesleyan setter Megan Widener's second-ball kill triggered a four-point run and the Warriors led the remainder of the set. Sarah Hughey recorded three kills in Southern Wesleyan's last five points of the set.
The Trojans got as close as 7-5 in the second set after a pair of kills by Johnston, but Southern Wesleyan (10-4, 5-0) seven of the next nine points to pull away. The margin reached double figures for the first time at 23-13 on Hughey's block and Trojan attack errors on the next two points gave the Warriors a two-set lead.
Mount Olive came close to extending the match in the third set as back-to-back aces by Casey Fiechter gave the Trojans an early 5-4 lead. After the two teams exchanged nine consecutive side outs, a block by Hughey and Katie Anderson gave Southern Wesleyan its biggest lead of the set at 14-10.
Three kills by Mackenzie Call off the bench sparked a Trojan run as Mount Olive rallied to tie the set 18-18. Southern Wesleyan used an ace by Paige O'Connor to take the lead for good. Hughey found an open spot in the Trojan back row on match point to seal the win.
Hughey finished with a match-high 19 kills and only two errors in 27 attempts for a .630 hitting percentage for Southern Wesleyan. Widener recorded 35 assists and Milena Stamenic added 13 digs.
Mount Olive concludes its six-match homestand Wednesday as the Trojans play host to Chowan University in non-conference action. Match time is 7 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.