09/26/04 — Volleyball -- Mount Olive claims doubleheader against Coker

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Volleyball -- Mount Olive claims doubleheader against Coker

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 26, 2004 2:00 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Listless and sluggish, the Mount Olive College volleyball team sleepily walked through its early-morning match against Coker (S.C.) College.

The Trojans struggled in aspects of the match before turning back the upset-minded Cobras 30-22, 33-35, 30-26, 30-28 on Saturday morning at College Hall.

When the teams returned to the court more than an hour later for their rematch, Mount Olive wasted little time in dismantling Coker. The Trojans needed just 71 minutes to post a 30-18, 30-19, 30-16 in NCAA Division II Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference play.

Mount Olive (11-4) remained unbeaten in five home matches this season and maintained command of second place in the CVAC at 8-1. The Trojans continue play at home Monday against Fayetteville State before starting a 12-match roadswing Tuesday at in-state CVAC rival Lees-McRae College.

Coker (6-6) exited 1-3 in the league.

Unlike the opening match, the Trojans ran their offense with the precision of a Timex watch in the second match. Outside hitter Heidi Busch and middle hitter Anna Luft combined for 34 kills as Mount Olive hit a season-best .500 -- 60 kills with 10 errors in 100 attempts.

Luft and junior middle blocker Colby Mangum combined for eight blocks against a Cobra offense that wrestled with inconsistent passing. Coker struggled in its serve receive and gave free balls to the Trojans, who easily took advantage.

Busch collected nine kills in the first game as Mount Olive built as much as a 15-point lead. The Cobras fought off three game points before Busch's kill, off Sara Christie's assist, closed out the first game.

Christie remained effective in the second game by working the ball to both sides of the net and stretching the Coker defense. She executed the combinaton offenses well and caught the Cobras flat-footed with numerous "dump" balls, which proved effective at different points in the game.

Christie, who dished out 73 assists in the two matches, served several aces and Busch had four kills as Mount Olive scored the first 10 points of the final game. Coker trimmed the lead with sporadic offensive spurts, but could never recover.

The Trojans beat a CVAC opponent at home for the 21st time in 23 tries since 2002. Luft, the school's all-time leader in aces, served five in the second game and has more than 40 on the season.

Sam Mitchell led the defense in match two with 10 digs. Sophomore libero Nikki Murphy and freshman Ashley Napoles had eight digs apiece.

Mount Olive attempted whopping 179 kills in the opening match, including a combined 100 from Busch and Mitchell. The duo finished with 23 apiece as the Trojans claimed the final two games.

Mangum and Luft each provided 13 kills and nine blocks.

Mitchell and Napoles combined for 30 digs.