Mount Olive volleyball sweeps Belmont Abbey
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 10, 2013 1:51 AM
MOUNT OLIVE -- No errors after point 20.
It's a philosophy that's worked well for the Mount Olive College men's volleyball team this season. The Trojans committed few mistakes during the critical stretch run of each set and defeated another Conference Carolinas foe in straight sets on Saturday afternoon.
Angel Dache cranked out a match-high 14 kills and Alex Rivero provided 10 in a 25-13, 25-19, 25-21 conquest of Belmont Abbey inside Kornegay Arena. Mount Olive (7-3 overall) snapped a two-match skid and remained perfect in six conference outings this season.
"It was a hunger," Dache said.
And determination to deny the Crusaders' upset bid.
Mount Olive held Belmont Abbey to a zero hitting percentage and .156 clip for the match. The Crusaders committed 13 attack errors and 15 additional unforced errors.
"Defensively, we played very well ... our servers were attacking the ball well, getting a lot of aces and (scoring on) out-of-system plays," senior libero Dan Arnold said. "The defense was definitely on point, even though we could have communicated a little better."
Tim Ebbecke's kill and a four-hit violation fueled a 7-1 run to close the first set. Ebbecke also logged a solo block and slammed an overpass back to the Crusaders' defense, while Rivero served one of his match-high five aces.
Dache's kill sealed the set.
Belmont Abbey (5-6, 2-6) stayed within striking distance in the second set before Mount Olive pulled away again. Dache's kill and solo block, and Ebbecke's roll shot put the Trojans up 18-13.
MOC kept up the pressure and Lewis Einarson's kill off Ben Casado's quick set pushed the score to 24-20. Two sideouts later, Rivero polished off the set with a monster kill.
The Crusaders played strong defensively and held three-point leads on four occasions in the third set. MOC coerced Belmont Abbey into numerous transition balls and got touches on several attack attempts, but just couldn't consistently terminate points.
Two Adam Miracle kills and a solo block knotted the set at 17-all.
Rivero connected on a kill off a tight play at the net, which started a set-ending 7-4 run. Consecutive kills from Rivero and Miracle capped the set and match, 25-21.
"We've trained all year that at point 20, we don't make any errors," Arnold said. "That's been our main focus. We most definitely played that way today. When we're down in the beginning, we tend fight harder than when we're up in the beginning."
Casado distributed 39 assists among six hitters. MOC posted a .363 team hitting percentage and owned a 49-25 advantage in total team kills.
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