10/18/05 — MOC volleyball set to battle Lees-McRae

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MOC volleyball set to battle Lees-McRae

Published in Sports on October 18, 2005 2:03 PM

Every match is important, especially in conference play. But some dates on the calendar are circled a little darker than others. October 18 has been circled on the Mount Olive volleyball team's calendar for a long time.

In a battle of the first and second place teams in the conference standings, Mount Olive plays host to conference leader Lees-McRae in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference volleyball tonight at Kornegay Arena. Match time is 6:30 p.m.

Mount Olive (17-6 overall, 10-1 CVAC) is coming off a four-match split over the weekend at the Lock Haven University Classic in Pennsylvania. The Trojans rebounded from two losses Friday with a pair of five-game wins Saturday.

Senior outside hitter Heidi Busch continues to move up the ranks of the NCAA II all-time career kills leaders. Busch, who leads all active NCAA Division II players with 2,246 kills, moved up to ninth place on the all-time list.

Busch ranks among the conference leaders with 4.52 kills per game and a .323 hitting percentage.

Sophomore outside hitter Sam Mitchell is coming off a career-high 23-kill performance Saturday against West Chester (Pa.) and ranks in the top 10 in the CVAC with 3.19 kills per game.

Senior setter Sara Christie, Mount Olive's all-time career assists leader with 5,393 assists, needs only 13 assists to break into the NCAA II all-time top 30. Christie leads the CVAC this season with 11.89 assists per game. She also ranks fourth in the conference with 0.77 aces per game.

Lees-McRae (18-8, 13-0) picked up a pair of conference wins this past weekend, defeating Coker and Anderson. The Bobcats became the lone unbeaten team in the conference after the Trojans fell in five games at Converse on October 9.

Lacie Smith, last week's CVAC Player of the Week, ranks in the top 10 in the conference in kills per game for Lees-McRae. Setter Valia Petrova ranks second behind Christie in assists per game.

Mount Olive ended a seven-year losing streak against Lees-McRae with a three-game win at home last October. The win was the Trojans' first over the Bobcats since the semifinal round of the 1997 CVAC Tournament. Lees-McRae has won the tournament every year since.

Tonight's match will also have an impact on the NCAA II Atlantic Region rankings. Mount Olive is ranked No. 8 in the region, right behind No. 7 Lees-McRae.

Lees-McRae's conference winning streak isn't the only streak on the line tonight. Mount Olive is 6-0 at Kornegay Arena this season and has won its last 17 matches at home.

MOC Sports Information