11/03/05 — Mount Olive College volleyball

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Mount Olive College volleyball

Published in Sports on November 3, 2005 2:04 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- For Mount Olive College seniors Heidi Busch, Sara Christie and Colby Mangum, there couldn't have been a more fitting way to end match point in their final collegiate home match: Mangum served, Christie got the assist and Busch put home the kill.

Busch recorded 14 kills and matched a career high with seven aces as regionally seventh-ranked Mount Olive defeated Pfeiffer 30-12, 30-17, 30-21 in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference volleyball Wednesday at Kornegay Arena. The win extends Mount Olive's winning streak to 10 and moves the Trojans back into a tie with Lees-McRae atop the conference standings. The win also extends Mount Olive's home winning streak to 21 as the Trojans have gone unbeaten at home for the second consecutive year.

Mount Olive (25-6 overall, 18-1 CVAC) broke away from an early 5-4 deficit with nine unanswered points as Busch served four aces during the run. Mallory Peavler added three aces during a 6-0 run to extend the Trojans' lead to 18-5. The lead stayed in double digits and Christie recorded a kill on game point.

Prior to the start of the match, an emotional ceremony took place honoring the three seniors. Busch said the team had no trouble getting focused once it was time to play.

"We actually tend to play better on emotion," said Busch, who ranks eighth in NCAA II history with 2,373 career kills. "Once that first serve went up, it was all business."

The Trojans jumped out to a five-point lead in game two, but Pfeiffer (9-17, 8-11) cut the lead to two as Charlotte McKenzie's ace pulled the Falcons within 9-7. But an ace by Mangum and a pair of kills by Sam Mitchell sparked a Mount Olive run as the Trojans built the lead to double digits at 22-12. Pfeiffer never got any closer than eight points and Christie once again recorded a kill on game point.

Mount Olive led 9-2 to start game three as Busch accounted for four points with three kills and an ace. Pfeiffer pulled within three as Nicole Cummings' ace highlighted a run of four unanswered points. But the Trojans scored the next four points and went on to build a 24-14 lead. Pfeiffer got as close as 27-21, but Mount Olive scored the final three points to close out the match.

"The three of us combining on the final point, it was meant to be. It couldn't have happened any other way," said Mangum.

Mitchell tallied 13 kills for Mount Olive, while Mangum and Anna Luft added nine kills apiece. Christie recorded 41 assists to give her 5,774 for her career, 19th highest in NCAA II volleyball history. She needs 16 assists to move into 18th place. Luft had four blocks, while Mitchell added three blocks and a match-high 20 digs. Nikki Murphy finished with 19 digs. The Trojans served 15 aces.

"Before the match, we (the seniors) said to the team that all we ask for is a complete game tonight," said Christie. "And that's what we got tonight. There was never any let up."

Sarah Beth Hobson and Vera Taylor led Pfeiffer with eight kills apiece. Hobson added a team-high 11 digs, while Brittany Poole finished with 10 digs. Morgan Liebert recorded 18 assists, while Heather Klein and Petra Lubicic tallied three blocks apiece.

The regular season conference title and the No. 1 seed in the CVAC Tournament will be on the line Saturday as the Trojans travel to Banner Elk to take on co-leader Lees-McRae in the regular season finale for both teams. Mount Olive won the first meeting in five games. Match time is 2 p.m.

"Tonight was our final home match, but we aren't through playing," said Mangum. "We have a huge match Saturday and then the conference tournament, so we need to get ourselves refocused."

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