MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The Mount Olive College women’s volleyball team held a lead or shared a tie near the midpoint of all three sets of its match with Pfeiffer University on Saturday, but the Trojans could not pull out a win in falling to the Falcons, 25-19, 25-21, 25-15, at Kornegay Arena. With the victory, Pfeiffer moved above .500 in the league with a 6-5 Conference Carolinas mark and improved to 6-12 overall. Mount Olive dropped to 3-17 overall and 1-11 the league.
Mount Olive senior Kailey Preece, who had been moved from hitter to setter before the season began, returned to her old position during parts of the match and ended up as the team’s leader in both kills (9) and assists (16). Erika Conner and Ashlee Reuter each added six kills, and Destiny Ma’ave-Kuewa chipped in 14 assists and five digs.
Pfeiffer’s Kristina Mordini led all players in kills with 10. Jordan O'Bryant added five kills, four aces and four blocks, while teammate Abbie Ovbey chipped in five kills and four blocks as well.
Mount Olive held a lead as late as 12-11 of the first set, but gave the next three points away on a service error, a ball-handling error and an attack error. A kill by Mordini and an ace by Colleen Wands followed, turning the Trojans’ advantage into a four-point deficit, 16-12. After falling behind by as many as seven, Mount Olive rallied to as close as 22-18 following a Pfeiffer attack error, but the Trojans could get no closer.
Three straight errors by Pfeiffer to open the second set gave the Trojans an early lead, and Mount Olive still led at 9-8 after a Carly White kill. But the Falcons went on a 9-2 run at that point paced by three kills and two blocks from Ovbey. The Trojans got no closer than five points the rest of the way.
The third set featured three ties, the latest at 8-all on a kill by Mount Olive’s Lauren Lee. Leading by one point at 11-10, Pfeiffer collected four straight points, two of those on aces by Kaci Markham. The Falcons still led by five at 17-12 when they went on another four-point run with O’Bryant on the service line. Anna Vizvary had a pair of blocks in the run to help Pfeiffer effectively put the match away.
The Trojans will return to action on Friday and Saturday when they play host to three other teams in the Mount Olive College Classic. Pfeiffer will host Belmont Abbey on Tuesday at 7 p.m.