04/10/05 — Napoles notches 10 kills in defeat

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Napoles notches 10 kills in defeat

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 10, 2005 2:05 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Albert Napoles recorded five of his team-high 10 kills in game three, but it was not enough as Mount Olive fell 30-27, 30-19, 34-32 to Lees-McRae in a men's volleyball match Saturday afternoon at College Hall.

The match was the finale of the Trojans' inaugural season as a varsity men's volleyball program.

Lees-McRae jumped out to a 5-1 lead in game one but the Trojans sparked a run of their own on a double block by Julio Arnaiz and Zach Wilson to bring Mount Olive back within one at 9-8.

Mount Olive tied the game for the first time at 14-14 on a blocking error by the Bobcats and the game saw nine ties, the last coming at 26-26. The Bobcats scored the next three points before Arnaiz ended the run with a kill, but game one ended on the Trojans' first service error of the match.

Mount Olive jumped out to a 4-1 lead in game one, but a service ace by Kevin Peoples sparked a 6-0 run for Lees-McRae as the Bobcats went up 15-9. Lees-McRae built the lead to 24-15 and went on to take a two-game lead in the match.

In game three, both teams battled back and forth as the game was tied at 4-4, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8 and 9-9. The Trojans pulled ahead by two on back-to-back errors by the Bobcats and took their largest lead of the match at 13-10 on a kill by Jason Fernandez.

Lees-McRae tied the game 14-14 on an ace by Leonardo Paludo and the teams again traded points until the Trojans took at two-point lead at 22-20.

The Bobcats rallied to take a three-point lead on kills by outside hitter Steven Dierstein and setter Adam Dierstein. Lees-McRae had two match points, but kills by Arnaiz, Perez and Napoles gave Mount Olive a 32-31 and put the Trojans within a point of forcing a fourth game.

In the two teams' last meeting, Mount Olive rallied from a two-game deficit before Lees-McRae pulled out a 3-2 victory. This time, Lees-McRae regained the lead and a kill by Brandon Williams sealed the 3-0 win for the Bobcats.

Perez finished with nine kills and 10 digs for the Trojans, while Steven Dierstein recorded a match-high 16 kills for Lees-McRae.

Mount Olive concluded its debut season 5-10.

Trio leads Trojans

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. -- Stephen Nordan hit a three-run homer, while Justin Staatz and Blake Montgomery combined on a six-hitter to lead Mount Olive to a 9-1, non-conference victory over Shepherd (W. Va.) College on Friday afternoon.

The Trojans swept the three-game series and extended their win streak to five games heading into today's non-league game at St. Andrews Presbyterian College. Game time is 3 p.m.

Josh Carter drove in two runs for the Trojans, as did Jordan Arnold, who connected on his first collegiate home run.

Mount Olive (21-22) broke the game open with a five-run second inning as the Trojans loaded the bases with nobody out on a pair of walks sandwiched around Santos Estremera's bunt single. Nick Paniccia scored the first run on Arnold's sacrifice fly and after a double steal, Estremera scored on Anthony Williams' squeeze bunt to give Mount Olive a 3-0 lead.

After another double steal, Carter capped the inning with a two-run single to left.

Williams and Lance Martin singled in the top of the fourth and Nordan cleared the bases with his fifth home run of the season. Arnold's solo home run with two outs in the fifth extended the Trojans' lead to 9-0.

Staatz (6-4) scattered six hits through seven innings, striking out six and walking one. He kept Shepherd (12-11) off the scoreboard until the bottom of the seventh when Josh Bowers singled in a run with two outs.

Montgomery pitched the final two innings for the Trojans, retiring all six batters he faced.

Nordan, who had four hits in game two of Thursday's doubleheader, went 7-for-14 with eight RBI in the three-game series.

Hurba promoted

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- For former Mount Olive College catcher Craig Hurba, the dream of playing in the big leagues continues. And that dream might be progressing faster than expected.

Hurba is in his second year with the Texas Rangers organization and opened the season with the Rangers' "High" Single A affiliate Bakersfield of the California League. The Bakersfield "Blaze" played their season opener Thursday.

Hurba, originally from Maryland, N.Y., earned All-South Atlantic Region and All-Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference honors at Mount Olive. Last season, he ranked among the national leaders with a .408 batting average, 16 home runs, 75 runs batted in and a .765 slugging percentage. Hurba finished 10th in the nation in runs batted in per game and 20th in home runs per game.

Hurba was also named to the All-Tournament Team as he helped lead the Trojans to the CVAC Tournament Championship. Hurba had a five-hit game and a five-RBI game in the tournament.

Last summer, Hurba was selected by Texas in the 38th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. He was assigned to the Rangers' Rookie League team in Surprise, Ariz.

"That was one of the best days of my life," said Hurba.

Hurba played in 32 of the team's 56 games, hitting .263 with five doubles, six triples and one home run. Hurba, who had only one triple during his senior season at Mount Olive, says everybody asks him where all the triples came from last summer.

"I'm not really a home run hitter," said Hurba. "I'm more of a line drive hitter in the gap. We played in big fields, and the ball hit hard off the wall. I tried to take advantage of the brick walls out there."