02/28/09 — Trojans achieve perfection at home in men's volleyball

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Trojans achieve perfection at home in men's volleyball

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 28, 2009 11:03 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Perfection on Senior Weekend.

And history to boot.

Mount Olive logged a 2-0 record in its own men's volleyball invitational and recorded its first-ever, unbeaten home campaign in the program's five-year existence. The Trojans remained unbeaten in six outings at Kornegay Arena this season with a 3-1 victory over Eastern Mennonite (Va.) University and 3-0 blitzing of York (N.Y.) College.

"We wanted to play hard with a high level of play," said MOC senior outside hitter Pedro Penate. "We wanted to be consistent all weekend, especially with the week off this week.

"Last weekend, we didn't play too hard and let down some games."

Not this time.

The Trojans logged a phenomenal .505 hitting percentage in the two victories, including a season-best .575 effort against York. Pent delivered a double-double -- 16 kills, 10 digs -- in the 30-7, 30-17, 30-16 rout which lasted less than an hour.

Junior outside hitter Camilo Guerci contributed 10 kills and four service aces. Junior opposite Noel Garcia delivered eight kills and five aces, while junior libero Felix Reimundo notched 13 digs defensively.

Alex Hoesktra dished out 25 assists in the first two sets. Backup setter Jarvis Karchewski, a freshman from Canada, passed out 18 assists in the third set.

"We wanted to put two quality wins together and do some things that we've been working on in practice the last two weeks," said MOC head coach Cole Tallman. "According to the stats, we did what we wanted to. We had consistency ... offensive options all the way across the court.

"The back row was outstanding at ball control, good defensive effort and our blocks were closed almost every single time."

Mount Olive (9-4 overall) and York battled through four ties and one lead change during the first 10 points of the opening set. The Trojans broke the 5-5 tie with a kill and extended their advantage to 21-5 before the Cardinals (7-17) recorded a sideout.

York never threatened the remainder of the match.

"We've been working a lot on our transition and about every offensive option there is," said Tallman, whose team had just six hitting errors against York. "We just try to make sure that our opponents see different things (from us)."

Junior outside hitter Christiaan Rombault recorded a career- and program-best 1.000 hitting percentage against Eastern Mennonite with a 17-kill, no-error performance on Friday. He broke the record set by Garcia, who hit .733 against Emmanuel (Mass.) College on Feb. 23, 2008.

Garcia and Penate supplied 11 and 10 kills, respectively, in the four-set affair. Penate added 11 digs and seven aces, while junior middle Jose Lanier posted 10 kills and three blocks.

Hoesktra dished out 60 assists.

"Last weekend, we came out a little strong against the first two teams, but the last match against Lees-McRae ... we struggled to pick up balls and it was really difficult because they had good placement on the ball," said MOC senior middle Mike Carroll. "Eastern Mennonite did have an injury or two and saw they were using their backup setter. We brought it to them and to York.

"But we bring it because it really doesn't matter who we play."

Mount Olive begins a season-ending, eight-match road swing March 13 at Lancaster (Pa.) Bible. The Trojans will also play at defending national champion Penn State on March 28.