- Mount Olive 3, King 1 (25-19, 25-17, 18-25, 25-22)
- Mount Olive moves to 18-9; King falls to 27-4
- Mount Olive advances to the Conference Carolinas Finals
- Wilson, N.C.
- Attendance: 208
- Box Score
The No. 3 seeded Mount Olive men’s volleyball team upset No. 2 King in 3-1 the Conference Carolinas Semifinals Friday night. The Trojans used a balanced attack, with four players reaching double-digits, and hit .333 or better as a team in three sets.
The Trojans overcame 18 service errors in the match and outhit King .358 to .203.
Junior opposite Robert Poole led the way for Mount Olive with 18 kills, while junior opposite Bret Rutledge (13), sophomore outside hitter Brad Monaghan (12) and senior middle blocker Andrew Sydow (10) also reached double figures. Sydow hit at a .625 clip and managed four of the team’s six blocks. Poole came in with a .410 clip and nine digs. Senior libero Josh Donahue led the defense with 22 digs.
Junior outside Jeff Sprayberry put down 19 kills and added nine digs to pace King. Junior right side Kiel Bell (8), senior outside Eddie Moushikhian (7) and junior middle Adrian Besson (6) rounded out the offense. Bell hit at a .571 clip and put up three blocks, while also adding five digs. Junior setter Nick Drooker posted a double-double with 40 assists and 10 digs, while serving up a team-best two aces.
Mount Olive jumped out to a 10-5 lead in Set 1 as King committed five errors and Poole turned in two kills. Poole and Monaghan added two kills apiece to up the margin to seven at 15-8. The Trojans scored four of the next five, including a pair of Tornado miscues, to pull within four at 16-12. They would get no closer, though, as the teams traded points the rest of the way and the stanza ended on a pair of hitting errors.
The teams split the first eight points of Set 2 before Mount Olive rallied with a 14-6 run to vault ahead 18-10. Four Rutledge kills and a trio of King miscues led to the advantage. UMO returned the favor with four errors, which cut the lead to five at 19-14. Mount Olive ended the set on a 6-3 run. Two Rutledge kills and one each by Sydow and Monaghan made it 24-17. A hitting error gave the Trojans the 2-0 lead in the match.
After nine ties, the last at 12-12, King took control with a pair of Drooker aces and kills by Bell, Sprayberry and Moushikhian to go up 17-12. A kill and an ace by Sydow pulled Mount Olive within three at 18-15, but the Tornado ended the set with seven of the final 10 points. Two Sprayberry kills and one from Jon Wheaton kept the match going at 25-18.
King boasted a 15-12 lead midway through Set 4. Six UMO errors and six Sprayberry putaways gave the Tornado the lead. Down 18-14, the Trojans put together an 11-4 run to grab the lead and the match. Five Poole kills gave Mount Olive the lead at 21-20. Two King errors and a Monaghan kill made it 24-21. Rutledge put the Trojans in the Conference Carolinas finals with the 25-22 win.
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