Rallies in the first two sets came up short as University of Mount Olive fell to Belmont Abbey College 25-20, 25-19, 25-15 in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Alysha Burnett led the Trojans with seven kills.
Prior to the match, Trojan seniors Nicole Karas, Morgan Morrissette and Danielle Plante were recognized during Senior Day ceremonies. In addition, as part of "Cures for the Colors Day" in the fight against cancer, donations were collected for Southeastern Cancer Care, which assists area cancer patients with everyday needs.
Mount Olive (4-16 overall, 3-7 Conference Carolinas) trailed by as many as nine points in the opening set before seniors Morrissette and Plante keyed a rally. Morrissette served an ace, Plante recorded a pair of kills and the two combined on a block to help pull the Trojans within 23-20. Belmont Abbey halted Mount Olive's rally on Hannah Schellenberg's kill and the Crusaders clinched the first set on a block by Caitlin Hankins and Emily Rose.
Belmont Abbey (12-8, 6-3) built a 17-10 lead in the second set after kills on three consecutive points by Schellenberg. An ace by Morrissette and a pair of kills by Burnett drew Mount Olive within 20-18. After a Trojan service error, Schellenberg served an ace and Coreen Norwood's kill gave the Crusaders a two-set advantage.
A back row kill by Trojan libero Samantha Winfield and a kill and an ace by Britni Johnson staked Mount Olive to a 5-3 lead in the third set. But Schellenberg's kill ignited a four-point Belmont Abbey run and the Crusaders led the remainder of the set.
Burnett and Johnson finished with 11 digs apiece for Mount Olive. Winfield, who recorded 18 digs and five aces in Friday's win over Lees-McRae, tallied eight digs and two aces Saturday. Morrissette added a match-high three blocks.
Schellenberg led Belmont Abbey with 14 kills, 12 digs and four aces. Sarah Kenney added a match-high 13 digs.
Mount Olive concludes its five-match homestand Wednesday as the Trojans play host to Winston-Salem State University in non-conference action. Match time is 7 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.