10/20/06 — Mount Olive teams in action this weekend

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Mount Olive teams in action this weekend

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on October 20, 2006 2:07 PM

When the Mount Olive women's volleyball team faced Anderson and Limestone in late September, the Trojans were a young team still trying to find the right chemistry. The Trojans are still young, but this weekend, Anderson and Limestone might not recognize the team they faced a month ago.

Mount Olive heads south of the border this weekend as the Trojans travel to the Upstate region of South Carolina for a pair of Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference volleyball matches. Mount Olive travels to Gaffney, S.C., tonight to take on Limestone, then heads down I-85 Saturday to Anderson, S.C., to face Anderson. Match time is 6:30 p.m. both nights.

Mount Olive (8-16 overall, 7-9 CVAC) completed a "Trojan Trifecta" Wednesday with a four-game victory at Barton. The Trojans' men's and women's soccer teams recorded victories over Barton earlier in the day.

Junior Sam Mitchell, who ranks third in the CVAC in kills per game, led the Trojans with 26 kills Wednesday, one shy of a career high. Senior Anna-Marie Luft added 15 kills and five service aces.

Mount Olive has two freshmen (outside hitter Racey Bartley and setter Joanie Werling), as well as a sophomore transfer (middle hitter Corie Skislak) in the starting lineup and frequently plays with as many as four newcomers on the floor. But the Trojans have come of age this week, having pushed two regionally ranked opponents to five games in back-to-back matches.

As a team, Mount Olive is ranked ninth in the nation and first in the CVAC in blocks with an average of 2.81 blocks per game.

Skislak, who has ranked among the CVAC blocking leaders all season, has taken over the lead with an average of 1.22 blocks per game. Bartley ranks ninth in block with a 1.02 average and has vaulted to No. 4 among the hitting leaders with a .312 hitting percentage.

Limestone (19-8, 13-2) defeated Queens 3-1 Wednesday to move back into a first-place tie with Lees-McRae in the conference standings. To say Limestone has made a dramatic turnaround is an understatement. Just two years ago, the Saints were 0-18 in conference play.

Anderson (17-13, 10-5) swept Belmont Abbey 3-0 Tuesday. Anderson is on a three-match winning streak.

Mount Olive fell to both Anderson and Limestone in four games in the first meetings this season. Against Anderson, three of the four games were decided by two points apiece.

After this weekend, Mount Olive has two regular season matches remaining, both on the road. Mathematically, the Trojans still have a chance at finishing in the top five in the conference standings and earning a first-round bye in the CVAC Tournament, which gets underway October 30. Mount Olive would likely have to win all of its remaining matches and get help from other teams.

If Mount Olive does have to play a first-round match, the Trojans are assured of being on its home court for the contest as a result of Wednesday's win over Barton.

No. 7 Trojans

return home

Saturday marks the final career regular season home match for the Mount Olive men's soccer team's eight seniors. But the seniors are hoping it won't be their last match at Trojan Field.

Regionally seventh-ranked Mount Olive wraps up regular season action and celebrates Senior Day Saturday as the Trojans play host to Erskine in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's soccer. Match time is 3:30 p.m. at Trojan Field.

Prior to the match, seniors Ryan Adamski, Ryan Capdepon, Jordan Covington, Mike Garrett, Chris Jasso, Brandon Mills, Erik Small and Charles Williams will be honored.

Mount Olive (10-7-0 overall, 4-5-0 CVAC) won its second straight match and seventh in its last five matches as the Trojans defeated Barton 6-1 Wednesday. Freshman Adrian Daniels, who had a four-match goal-scoring streak earlier this season, came off the bench to record his first collegiate hat trick. Small tallied three assists for the Trojans.

Mount Olive is ranked 19th in the nation in scoring offense, despite not having any one player with more than seven goals. Daniels took over the team lead after Wednesday's performance, followed by junior Bradley Carroll, who scored his sixth goal of the season Wednesday. Fourteen different players have at least two goals for the Trojans this season and 17 players overall have scored a goal for Mount Olive.

Erskine (3-11-1, 1-7-1) fell to Anderson 4-1 Thursday. This past Saturday, the Flying Fleet played co-regional No. 7 Lees-McRae to a 1-1 draw.

Mount Olive's victory over Barton clinched a spot in next week's CVAC Tournament, but the Trojans' two-year streak of hosting a first-round match will come to an end. Mount Olive will be either the No. 6 or No. 7 seed and will travel to either Belmont Abbey or Limestone Wednesday. Queens has already clinched the regular season title and No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Mount Olive is the host school for the CVAC Tournament semifinals and championship, which will take place Oct. 28-29 at Trojan Field. If the Trojans can win their first-round match-up, then Saturday's contest would be the seniors' regular season finale, but they would get to come back for at least one more curtain call.

Lady Trojans gear

up for Erskine

The Mount Olive women's soccer team's match Saturday has something in common with the Trojans' last match. It could be a preview of the first round of next week's CVAC Tournament.

Mount Olive wraps up its regular season and celebrates Senior Day Saturday as the Trojans play host to Erskine in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference women's soccer. Match time is 1 p.m. at Trojan Field.

Prior to the match, seniors Emily Anthony and Molly Morrow will be honored. Anthony and Morrow are the first four-year players for fourth-year head coach Chris Shaw.

Mount Olive (13-6-0 overall, 8-2-0 CVAC) is coming off a 4-1 victory over Barton Wednesday. Junior sweeper Caitlyn Wright, who started the season as a forward, notched her second consecutive two-assist performance. Four different players - juniors April Jacobs and Kate Painter, sophomore Lyndsay Brennan and freshman Kirsten White -- each scored a goal for the Trojans.

Jacobs, who ranks second in the nation in total assists and third in assists per game, recorded her 15th assist of the season Wednesday. Jacobs has been ranked as high as first in the nation in assists this season. As a team, the Trojans are 22nd in the nation in scoring offense.

After a 4-4 start, Mount Olive has won nine of its last 11 matches, the only blemishes a pair of one-goal losses on the road against regionally-ranked teams.

Erskine (5-12-1, 5-5-0) defeated Anderson 3-0 Thursday. The Flying Fleet are currently in a tie with Barton for sixth place in the CVAC standings.

Mount Olive had a shot at finishing as high as second in the conference standings, but as a result of Belmont Abbey's win Thursday over Lees-McRae, the Trojans will be either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in next week's CVAC Tournament. Mount Olive will host a first-round match for the third consecutive year.

Mount Olive would be the No. 3 seed if the Trojans defeat Erskine and Pfeiffer loses to Queens Saturday. Regardless of where Mount Olive is seeded, the Trojans will face Barton, Erskine or Limestone Tuesday in the first round.

But the Trojans only have their sights set on this Saturday's game. Mount Olive has won each of the last three meetings against Erskine, including a pair of contests last year. The Trojans won 2-1 at Erskine in the regular season on Jessica Smoot's overtime game-winner, then defeated the Flying Fleet 7-1 at Trojan Field in the first round of the CVAC Tournament.