11/01/04 — Trojan volleyball set to battle Barton in home finale

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Trojan volleyball set to battle Barton in home finale

Published in Sports on November 1, 2004 1:55 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive puts its five-match winning streak on the line as the Trojans play host to Barton in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference volleyball Tuesday evening. Match time is 6:30 p.m. at College Hall. The match is the Trojans' home finale.

Mount Olive (23-11 overall, 14-3 CVAC) is coming off a pair of 3-0 wins over the weekend, defeating Belmont Abbey Friday and Queens Saturday.

The wins have kept the Trojans in sole possession of second place in the CVAC standings, a half-game behind conference leader Lees-McRae and a full game ahead of third-place St. Andrews.

Junior outside hitter Heidi Busch continues her torrid hitting pace, averaging 7.25 kills per game during the Trojans' current five-match winning streak and 6.30 kills per game over her last 11 matches. She has recorded at least 19 kills in each of her last 11 matches and had an eight-match streak of 20 or more kills. Busch, who is averaging 5.53 kills per game for the season, was ranked No. 8 in the nation in the NCAA Division II statistics report two weeks ago and could move up higher in this week's ranking, which will be announced Wednesday.

While opponents have tried to focus on Busch, sophomore middle hitter Anna Luft is quietly averaging 3.44 kills per game with a .529 hitting percentage during the Trojans' winning streak. She also has 14 service aces in her last five matches. Defensively, freshman outside hitter Sam Mitchell has averaged 5.00 digs per game during the winning streak, while Busch is averaging 4.19 digs and 1.00 blocks per game. Colby Mangum, who ranks 10th in the nation in blocks, is averaging nearly two blocks per game during the streak.

Barton (14-14, 6-9) split its two matches over the weekend, falling to Queens 3-2 Friday and defeating Belmont Abbey 3-0 Saturday. In the first meeting at Barton September 14, Mount Olive fought off several comeback attempts to defeat the Bulldogs in three games. The loss dropped Barton to 1-9 overall and 0-5 in the CVAC, but the Bulldogs have won 13 of their last 18 matches overall and have gone 6-4 in conference play since that match.

Along with conference standings and seedings in the upcoming CVAC Tournament, tonight's match is also important in the NCAA II Atlantic Region rankings. Mount Olive, which was in a three-way tie at No. 7 in the last poll, awaits Wednesday's announcement of the new regional poll.

The Trojans defeated No. 5 Lees-McRae and No. 6 St. Andrews during their streak.

Tuesday's contest marks the final career home volleyball match for senior libero Chasity Oxendine. Oxendine, who will also play basketball for the Trojans this year, will be recognized prior to the match.

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