10/19/04 — MOC soccer teams clinch first round playoff games

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MOC soccer teams clinch first round playoff games

Published in Sports on October 19, 2004 1:55 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Thanks to a weekend of upsets in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference, both the Mount Olive College men's and women's soccer teams are assured of finishing in the top four in the conference standings.

As a result, both teams will host first-round matches in next month's CVAC soccer tournaments.

Mount Olive will host a first-round match in the CVAC women's soccer tournament November 2 and a first-round contest in the CVAC men's soccer tournament November 3. Match time both days will be 2 p.m. at Trojan Field.

Despite suffering its first conference loss of the season Saturday, Mount Olive (11-3-2 overall, 7-1-0 CVAC) will do no worse than finish in a second-place tie in the men's soccer conference standings. If seedings come down to a tie-breaker, the Trojans would be no lower than a No. 4 seed.

Mount Olive can win the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the tournament if the Trojans win their final two conference matches against Queens (home) and Lees-McRae (away). One win or a tie guarantees the Trojans a top-two finish.

Under the CVAC points system -- three points for a win, one point for a tie -- Queens (7-0-1) is in first place with 22 points, followed by Mount Olive with 21 points. Four other teams -- Anderson, Belmont Abbey, Lees-McRae and Pfeiffer -- can finish with a maximum of 21 points.

However, Pfeiffer still has to play Anderson and Belmont Abbey. In the only possible four-way tie scenario (with Anderson, Belmont Abbey and Lees-McRae), Mount Olive would be the No. 3 seed.

The Trojans finish in the top four in the conference standings in any three-way tie scenarios.

Queens, which plays host to Anderson today, is assured of entering the CVAC Tournament as either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed.

No matter where the Trojans are seeded, they're assured of putting a streak to an end -- five consecutive years as the No. 8 seed. Mount Olive's highest seed in the men's soccer tournament came in 1996 when the Trojans were the No. 3 seed. Mount Olive fell to Queens in the championship game. Mount Olive has lost to Queens in the first round of the tournament in each of the last three years.

The Trojans potentially could face any team in the conference in the first round -- except Queens.

In the women's standings, Mount Olive (13-3-0 overall, 6-2-0 CVAC) is currently in second place with 18 points. The Trojans' only two CVAC losses are against the two conference unbeatens: first-place Belmont Abbey (7-0-0, 21 points) and third-place Pfeiffer (5-0-1, 16 points). Belmont Abbey has three conference matches remaining, while Pfeiffer has four conference matches left.

Apart from Belmont Abbey and Pfeiffer, the only other team that can mathematically finish ahead of Mount Olive is the winner of today's match between Anderson and Queens. Barton could finish in a tie with Mount Olive, but the Trojans win the tie-breaker by virtue of their 3-1 victory over Barton in September.

Mount Olive will host a CVAC women's soccer tournament first-round match for the first time in school history, and will have its highest-ever tournament seeding. The Trojans were the No. 8 seed in the 2000 tournament and the No. 9 seed in the 1997 tournament. Other than 1997, only the top eight finishers in the regular season standings qualify for the CVAC Tournament.

In this past weekend's men's soccer action, wins by Limestone over Anderson and Barton over Lees-McRae officially clinched a top four finish for Mount Olive. On the women's side, it was a combination of wins by Limestone over Anderson, Barton over Lees-McRae and Coker over Erskine that assured the Trojans of a first-round home match.

Trojan volleyball team meets Limestone tonight

The Mount Olive College volleyball team plays its first conference match in 10 days as the Trojans travel to Gaffney, S.C., this evening to take on Limestone in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference action. Match time is 6 p.m.

Mount Olive (18-11 overall, 9-3 CVAC) is coming off a 1-3 mark at the Magic on the Mountain Tournament at Lees-McRae College over the weekend.

The Trojans, ranked No. 9 in the NCAA II Atlantic Region, faced four opponents from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, including regionally second-ranked California (Pa.) and No. 7 Edinboro. Mount Olive enters tonight's contest in third place in the conference standings, one-and-a-half games behind conference leader Lees-McRae and one game behind second-place St. Andrews.

Junior outside hitter Heidi Busch, who ranks 10th in the nation in kills per game, reached or eclipsed the 20-kill mark in each of her four matches, including a season-high 29 kills against Kutztown and 28 kills against California. Junior middle blocker Colby Mangum had a career-high 19 kills with only one error in 30 attempts against Kutztown. Sophomore back-up setter Aileen Torres played the libero position against Kutztown and recorded a career-high 27 digs, the Trojans' highest single-match digs total. Torres was moved to libero due to injuries to Chasity Oxendine and Nikki Murphy, who did not play at all during the tournament. Their status for tonight is questionable.

Limestone (4-20, 0-11) is playing its first match since a 3-0 loss to Belmont Abbey last Wednesday. Limestone recently announced that the volleyball team had to forfeit three matches from early September, including its lone conference win, because the team "unknowingly played an ineligible player."

Mount Olive defeated Limestone 30-19, 30-22, 30-10 in the two teams' first meeting in September at College Hall. Busch led the Trojans with 19 kills and seven blocks, while setter Sara Christie tallied 41 assists and four service aces.

MOCwomen's soccer

faces Meredith at home

The Mount Olive College women's soccer team returns home after a three-match road trip as the Trojans play host to Meredith Wednesday in non-conference action. Match time is 4 p.m. at Trojan Field.

Mount Olive (13-3-0) won two of three matches during last weekend's Fall Break trip to Virginia and West Virginia. The Trojans sandwiched shutouts against Shenandoah and West Virginia Tech around a one-goal loss to Charleston. The Trojans made the trip without starters Melanie Cobb and Kate Painter. Both players will be in the lineup Wednesday.

Cobb, who has a school-record 20 goals this season, ranks in the top 10 in the nation in goals and points per game and entered last week as one of only three players in the nation to reach the 20-goal mark. Painter ranks third on the team in assists with seven. Gina Dos Santos has scored at least one goal in each of her last five matches and seven of her last eight. Over the weekend, Dos Santos and Emily Escolas became the third and fourth players in Mount Olive women's soccer history to score at least 10 goals in a season.

Wednesday's contest marks the Trojans' next-to-last regular season home match. Mount Olive plays host to Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference opponent Queens Saturday in the Trojans' regular season home finale.

Mount Olive has also secured home field advantage in the first round of the CVAC Women's Soccer Tournament November 2.