02/23/13 — MOC volleyball beats EMU

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MOC volleyball beats EMU

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 23, 2013 11:06 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive cranked out another quality win.

And avoided an emotional letdown.

Coming off a five-set road win against Pfeiffer, the Trojans answered with a crisp hitting performance against Eastern Mennonite (Va.) University inside Kornegay Arena on Saturday afternoon. Angel Dache led a balanced offense with 12 kills in a 25-17, 25-21, 25-14 non-conference triumph over the Royals.

MOC (11-3 overall) collected its ninth three-set sweep of the season and extended its win streak to five matches. The victory occurred three days after the Trojans upended Pfeiffer and avenged a loss in last year's Conference Carolinas tournament championship.

"We have four big games a year -- Penn State, Limestone, Pfeiffer and Lees-McRae," Trojans head coach David Heller said. "If it's any other team, it's a coin toss on how we're going to perform. Mentally (today) I don't think we were in it as much as we should have been, but we still produced numbers.

"That's huge when you've gotten to the level where you cannot be at 100 percent and still pull out a victory. They weren't rolling over for us. They battled back here and there."

Senior Adam Miracle pounded out eight kills, Richard Hesse contributed six and Alex Rivero delivered five. The Trojans hit .452 as a team and committed just nine errors in 73 attempts.

Setters Ben Casado and Quaid Marin dished out 26 and 13 assists, respectively. Casado and Dan Arnold posted four digs apiece.

"I thought we were efficient," said Rivero, who transferred from EMU two seasons ago. "We worked pretty well together coming off a pretty big game against Pfeiffer, so I'm glad that we took this game serious. We settled down and played our volleyball."

Tim Ebbecke's kill helped sparked a 7-3 late in the opening set. Hesse's kill and Casado's solo block on a setter-dump attemt pushed Mount Olive's lead to 21-13, which forced EMU to burn its second timeout.

Rivero and Miracle logged back-to-back kills to make it 23-13. Two points later, Dache and Rivero capped the set with consecutive kills.

The Trojans controlled the tempo in the second set and led 22-17 before the Royals (10-4) clawed their way back to within 23-20. Rivero's roll shot from the right side and Bastian Steppin's lone kill of the match sealed the second set.

Heller mixed the starters and reserves in the third set.

Giora Sela, Lewis Einarson and Andreas Langler each recorded big points to keep EMU from gaining any momentum. Sela, Miracle and Marin combined to score the final four points of the match.

"I'm actually really happy (with the effort)," Heller said. "Everyone got in, everyone got playing time. I feel more confident putting in players as they develop throughout the season. I think they've done a really good job of pushing each other and not being complacent.

"Our non-starters went in and did well today."

Mount Olive claimed its seventh straight win against EMU, which dropped to 5-22 against Conference Carolinas opposition since 2009.