10/21/05 — Mount Olive College roundup

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Mount Olive College roundup

Published in Sports on October 21, 2005 2:04 PM

Trojan spikers go for century mark

Mount Olive's three volleyball seniors had already set a school record for most career wins before the season had even started. Saturday, they have a chance to turn their win total into the century mark.

Mount Olive puts its three-match winning streak on the line Saturday as the Trojans play host to Belmont Abbey in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference volleyball action. Match time is 2 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.

Mount Olive (18-6 overall, 11-1 CVAC) is coming off a dramatic five-game win over conference leader Lees-McRae, which had entered the match as the lone remaining unbeaten team in conference play. Sam Mitchell led four players in double figures with 21 kills, two kills shy of her career best set last Saturday.

Seniors Heidi Busch, Sara Christie and Colby Mangum enter Saturday's contest with a career record of 99-40 for a .712 winning percentage. During their freshman year, Mount Olive set a school record with 30 wins. The trio needs two wins to become the first class to record four consecutive 20-win seasons.

Busch added 19 kills Tuesday to bring her career total to 2,265, ninth-highest in NCAA II history. Busch needs 22 kills to move into eighth place.

Christie recorded a season-high 60 assists in Tuesday's win and ranks 28th on the NCAA II all-time list with 5,453 assists.

Belmont Abbey (11-6, 9-5) swept Queens in three games Thursday. The Crusaders have won six of their last seven matches, all in conference play.

Mount Olive enters Saturday's match in second place in the CVAC standings, one game behind Lees-McRae, but tied in the loss column with one loss apiece. The Trojans have finished second behind Lees-McRae each of the last three years.

Belmont Abbey is currently in fourth place in the conference standings. The Crusaders are seeking their highest conference finish since reinstating volleyball in 2002.

Saturday's contest marks the first of two meetings in eight days between the Trojans and Crusaders. Mount Olive plays at Belmont Abbey a week from Sunday.

Women's soccer

The Mount Olive women's soccer team enters Saturday's match as the top scoring team in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference. The Trojans face the team with the lowest goals against average in the conference. As the saying goes, "something's gotta give."

Mount Olive plays its final home match of the regular season Saturday as the Trojans play host to Lees-McRae in a rematch of the championship game of last year's CVAC Tournament. Match time is 1 p.m. at Trojan Field.

Mount Olive (11-6-0 overall, 7-2-0 CVAC) is coming off a record-setting 11-0 win over St. Andrews Wednesday. April Jacobs scored two goals and matched a career high with three assists, while Caitlyn Wright and conference scoring leader Gina Dos Santos added two goals apiece.

The 11 goals marked the highest single-game scoring total in a CVAC match for Mount Olive, which played most of the second half with its forwards in the backfield and its defensive players up front.

Mount Olive has won seven of its last nine matches and is 5-1-0 in its last six conference matches. The Trojans' lone conference loss during the stretch was an overtime loss to conference leader Belmont Abbey last Saturday.

The Trojans lead the CVAC in scoring with an average of 3.82 goals per game. Dos Santos leads the CVAC with 18 goals, while Jacobs leads the conference with 12 assists. Lyndsay Brennan is among the conference leaders in both categories with nine goals and eight assists.

Lees-McRae (2-9-2, 1-6-1) fell to Limestone 2-0 Thursday. The Bobcats lead the CVAC with a 0.78 goals against average, but have scored only four goals in 13 matches.

Mount Olive enters Saturday's match in fourth place in the CVAC standings, but only one game out of the lead. The Trojans are a half-game behind Barton and Pfeiffer, which are in a virtual tie for second place. The top four teams in the final regular season standings host first-round matches in the CVAC Tournament, which gets underway November 1.

Lees-McRae is currently in 11th place in the standings, but is still in contention of finishing in the top eight and earning a berth in the CVAC Tournament.

Mount Olive defeated Lees-McRae 3-1 in last year's CVAC Tournament championship game. Dos Santos scored the Trojans' first two goals of the match.

Men's soccer

Mount Olive men's soccer seniors Ryan Brown and Reid Clewis will play their final career regular season home match Saturday. The two seniors hope it isn't their final match at Trojan Field.

Mount Olive plays its regular season home finale Saturday as the Trojans play host to Lees-McRae in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference action. Match time is 3 p.m. at Trojan Field.

Mount Olive (11-4-1 overall, 6-2-0 CVAC) is coming off a 3-1 victory over St. Andrews Wednesday. Clewis and Adam Caston each recorded a goal and an assist. Matt Hobbs' header off of Caston's restart gave Mount Olive a lead less than three minutes into the match as the Trojans extended their unbeaten streak to 25 matches when scoring the first goal.

The Trojans are tied with Belmont Abbey for third place in the CVAC standings, one game behind conference leader Queens and a half-game behind Anderson. Queens travels to Anderson Saturday.

The top four teams in the final regular season standings host quarterfinal-round matches in the CVAC Tournament November 2. Mount Olive hosted a first-round match last year on its way to its first-ever CVAC championship.

Lees-McRae (8-5, 4-3) halted a two-match losing skid Thursday with a 2-1 victory at Limestone. The Bobcats are tied for fifth in the CVAC standings.

Both teams enter Saturday's match ranked in the top 10 in the Southeast Region, Mount Olive at No. 5 and Lees-McRae at No. 7.

Clewis will complete his career as the first four-year player under fourth-year head coach Jerry Riggs. After starting as a midfielder in his first two years, Clewis has emerged as one of the CVAC's scoring leaders since switching to forward at the start of his junior year.

Brown has been a starting defender during each of his three years at Mount Olive since transferring from UNC Pembroke. Brown has helped Mount Olive's defense post seven shutouts and hold 10 of 16 opponents to one goal or less this season.

After Saturday, the Trojans have one regular season contest remaining, October 29 at Barton.

Cross Country

Ask Mount Olive cross country senior Tim Insley and he'll tell you it seemed like just yesterday when he and his teammates were holding preseason practice. Today, the Trojans will compete for a conference championship.

The first conference titles of 2005-06 will be awarded as Mount Olive competes in the 2005 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships this morning at Anderson, S.C.

The women's race begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by the men's race at 10:15 a.m.

On the men's side, Insley has been the Trojans' top finisher in every race during his three years at Mount Olive. In 2004, Insley placed 14th out of 78 runners at the CVAC Championship, earning All-CVAC honorable mention. Insley ran the hilly 8K course in a time of 28:44 -- 10 seconds out of a top 10 finish.

Insley hopes to have the same kind of result this year at the conference tournament.

"I would be extremely happy with a top 15 finish," said Insley, a graduate of Eastern Wayne High School. "This season has just flown by and at this point, we're either ready or we're not."

On a team that consists of four freshmen and one junior, Insley stresses how important it is for his team to come out today ready to go.

"I'm more focused on the team doing well this year," said Insley. "I think that we have a lot of talent and if we show up ready to go, we should be able to place better than we did last year. My goal for the team is for everyone to run personal bests."

On the women's side, freshman Ashley Baldridge has been the Trojans' top finisher in every race this season. Baldridge ran her best time of 22:57 October 1 at the Hagan Stone Invitational.

Going into her first collegiate conference race, Baldridge is both excited and nervous.

"It's going to be interesting to see where I stand compared to the other schools because we haven't seen everyone all at one place before," says Baldridge. "College (cross country) is completely different from high school and I'm looking forward to gaining that experience."

Third-year head coach Jennifer Lancaster also stresses the importance of her freshmen stepping up.

"We definitely have more talent on this team than we've ever had," said Lancaster. "What we do lack is experience, and I'm hoping that everything comes together (today)."

Lancaster also hopes that Insley will make All-Conference again this year.

"Tim works harder then anyone on this team and as a senior, he definitely deserves to go out on a high note," said Lancaster. "I think that if he runs his race, he'll be looking at a personal best."