11/09/08 — Mote's 15 kills lead Trojans to victory

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Mote's 15 kills lead Trojans to victory

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on November 9, 2008 9:28 AM

MOC Sports Information

WILSON -- Alicia Mote recorded a match-high 15 kills as Mount Olive defeated Belmont Abbey 25-13, 25-19, 26-24 in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Saturday at Wilson. The match was played at Barton College due to an event taking place at Kornegay Arena, Mount Olive's home floor.

Despite the win and Friday night's victory over Lees-McRae, the Trojans will have to open Conference Carolinas Tournament play on the road at Lees-McRae, which secured homecourt advantage earlier Saturday with a 3-1 win over Barton. Mount Olive is the No. 5 seed in the tournament.

Mount Olive (17-16 overall, 13-7 Conference Carolinas) used early kills by Mote and a pair of service aces by Joanie Werling to build a double-digit lead in the first set. The Trojans erased an early deficit in the second set as Racey Bartley served five consecutive points after a side out to put Mount Olive ahead to stay 7-3.

Belmont Abbey (9-19, 8-12) controlled most of the third set, jumping out to a 14-7 lead on kills by Bria James and Stephanie Holler. Mount Olive was still down by seven when a pair of blocks by Charmaine Harris sparked a 7-0 run and tied the set at 19-19. The Trojans took their first lead at 23-22 and after the Crusaders fought off one match point, Mote closed out the match with a kill.

Kari Ham and Corie Skislak each tallied seven kills for Mount Olive. Bartley, who did not play the third set, finished with six kills and two aces. Harris had a match-high three blocks, while Ham, Skislak and Werling added two blocks apiece.

Werling, who tallied 31 assists, says the team approached Saturday's contest the way it does every match, despite knowing that the outcome wouldn't change the Trojans' seeding in the conference tournament.

"We just came into the match focused on Belmont Abbey," said Werling, a junior setter from Purcelleville, Va. "Our only concern was getting a win today."

Mallory Peavler recorded a match-high 10 digs to bring her school-record career total to 1,562. She has 533 digs on the season, moving her within 24 digs of breaking the Trojan single-season record.

James led Belmont Abbey with eight kills, while Holler finished with seven and Leanne Cassandra added five kills and a block. Molly Gwaltney recorded 19 assists. The Crusaders enter the tournament as the No. 7 seed and play host to No. 10 seed Converse Monday in the first round.

Mount Olive earned a first-round bye with its top five finish in the conference standings. The Trojans will travel to Banner Elk on Wednesday to face No. 4 seed Lees-McRae. Match time has not yet been announced. Lees-McRae will also be the site of the semifinals and championship Friday and Saturday.