11/14/04 — Barton stuns Mount Olive in CVAC Tournament

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Barton stuns Mount Olive in CVAC Tournament

Published in Sports on November 14, 2004 2:00 AM

LAURINBURG -- The Mount Olive College volleyball team showed a great deal of heart and determination in its quarterfinal-round conference tournament match Saturday.

But with the nation's fifth-leading attacker sitting on the bench with an injury, heart and determination weren't quite enough.

Anna Luft led four players in double figures with a match-high 20 kills, but No. 2 seed Mount Olive came up short as the Trojans fell to No. 7 Barton 30-24, 27-30, 30-27, 30-21 in the 2004 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference volleyball tournament Saturday morning at St. Andrews.

The Trojans played virtually the entire match without three-time All-CVAC first team outside hitter Heidi Busch, who suffered an ankle injury in practice earlier in the week. Busch, who ranks fifth in the nation in kills per game, was listed in the starting lineup and participated in pre-game warm-ups, but after attempting a few attacks, it was determined that she would not be able to start. Busch did enter the match late in the fourth game, but played only in the back row.

"Before the match, we said everybody is going to have to step up," said junior middle blocker Colby Mangum. "Everybody is going to have play 10 times harder and play that much more as a team."

Mangum finished with 13 kills and seven blocks for the Trojans, while Sam Mitchell added 11 kills and 10 digs. Freshman Ashley Napoles added a career-best 13 kills. Junior setter Sara Christie had 37 assists to go with three kills and two aces. Nikki Murphy had a team-high 11 digs.

"I think we may have been a little intimidated by Heidi not being in there," said Mangum. "We might have been nervous at first with players in positions they don't normally play, but I think everyone did a very good job considering the situation."

"I had to change my set selection since we had people playing in new positions, and switching positions is tough," said Christie. "Sets that would normally go to Heidi, I had to distribute to different positions."

The loss snapped the Trojans' regular season-ending six-match winning streak.

"We made a lot of tough mistakes, but there's no question that everybody gave their best effort today," said Christie.

"We had a very young team on the floor much of the match and it was a learning experience for all of us," said Mangum. "It's pretty tough when both of your team captains are sitting on the bench."

Senior libero Chasity Oxendine has been sidelined since midseason.

Today's championship match pits top-seeded Lees-McRae against Barton. Regional bids are scheduled for release sometime today once conference tournaments around the nation have been completed.