10/31/04 — MOC women's volleyball tops Queens

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MOC women's volleyball tops Queens

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 31, 2004 2:00 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Queens University had no answer for All-American Heidi Busch on Saturday afternoon.

A junior outside hitter, Busch collected a team-high 19 kills as Mount Olive College flushed the Royals 30-16, 30-13, 30-26 in an NCAA Division II Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference volleyball match. Busch failed to record 20 kills for the first time in seven matches, but it didn't matter.

The Trojans (23-11, 14-3 CVAC) swept a CVAC opponent at home for the ninth time this season and clinched at least a tie for second place in the conference standings. The Trojans, who have beaten opponents 3-0 on 15 occasions, remained unbeaten in 10 outings at College Hall.

Queens, which beat Barton in five sets on Friday, exited 6-10 in the league.

"We came out really hard today and knew we needed a win for the (Atlantic) regional rankings," Mount Olive's Sam Mitchell said. "We knew we were the better team and we played really strong as a team. We moved a lot, were pretty focused and had intensity." Meanwhile, the Royals played flat.

The outside blockers had a difficult time containing Busch, who hit .405 for the match with just two errors in 42 attempts.

"Our key players didn't play as good as they normally do," Queens coach Chrys Baker said. "Heidi is a good hitter and we work on that, but that was our key players who didn't close the blocks. You have to shut down their hitters and we didn't do that." Busch got tremendous support from Mitchell, and middle hitters Colby Mangum and Anna Luft. Mitchell provided six kills, but kept numerous points alive with 13 digs on defense. Mangum hit a match-best .692 with nine kills in 13 attempts and no errors. Luft provided nine kills with just two hitting errors.

Overall, Mount Olive hit .383 as a team with just six errors in 107 attempts.

The Royals (12-18) stayed within three points in the opening game. Ciara Koestner's kill off a quick set closed the gap to 12--9. Busch answered with a monster kill just inside the 3-meter line, and added a service ace. Mount Olive seized control by taking six of the next eight points. Luft finished off the run when she blocked senior middle hitter Robin Simmons. The Trojans kept the ball alive and Luft connected on an off-speed hit, which the Royals defense misplayed, for a 20-11 lead.

Busch added three more kills down the stretch as Mount Olive claimed the game 30-16.

Game two played out much like game one. Queens kept the score close until Luft delivered another off-speed hit. Candice Collins served four consecutive aces for a 12-4 cushion. The Royals fell behind by 11 and Busch ignited a 5-1 run with four kills to put the Trojans in command 23-8.

Queens slipped into double digits at 27-10 on Juliette Thomas' kill against Mangum's block. The teams traded points until Mitchell capped the game with a kill off Sara Christie's assist. Christie dished out a match-high 42 assists in the straight-set victory.

Baker's team came alive in the third game. They seized six of the first nine points, and prevented Mitchell and Luft from getting untracked from the outside and middle. The Trojan defense also struggled with its passing and sent a couple of free balls over that the Royals quickly attacked.

Simmons and Lauren Kegerris each had two kills during the early offensive surge. Simmons blocked Luft, while Kegerris and Chrissy White blocked Busch.

"They (Queens) picked up their intensity as a team and ours kind of dropped a little bit," Mitchell said. "I don't know what happened to us. We just didn't move. We were kind of standing around a lot. We started to pick it up a little bit (late).

"We started fighting back ... playing our game." Mount Olive tied the game at 17-17, 18-18, 19-19 and 21-21 before finally gaining control. The Royals committed two crucial ball-handling mistakes and Mangum served back-to-back aces for a 25-21 advantage. Queens rallied to within 27-26 until Mitchell's kill and Luft's off-speed helped seal the game and match 30-26.

"We know everyone is coming over here to try and beat us," Mitchell said. "We just try to put that out of our heads and play."


sweep Belmont Abbey

MOC Sports Information

MOUNT OLIVE -- Heidi Busch recorded 21 kills and Candice Collins served a career-high six aces to lead regionally seventh-ranked Mount Olive to a 30-17, 30-23, 30-23 victory over Belmont Abbey in NCAA Division II Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference volleyball action Friday at College Hall.

The match was Busch's eighth in a row with at least 20 kills and extended her double-figure kills streak to 35 consecutive matches. The win was the Trojans' fourth in a row, all in conference play.

Earlier this week, Belmont Abbey had come from two games down to beat Pfeiffer and one game down to beat Queens, but this time the rally would come up short as Luft put home the kill on match point.

Mangum finished with 12 kills and six blocks, while Luft added a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs. Sara Christie recorded 43 assists and Sam Mitchell had a team-high 13 digs.

Sophomore libero Nikki Murphy had 10 digs in her return after missing the past seven matches with an injury.