Danielle Plante had 12 kills and Britni Johnson added a double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs as University of Mount Olive picked up its first win of the season with a 25-20, 25-18, 27-29, 25-18 victory over Shaw University in non-conference women's volleyball Tuesday at Kornegay Arena. The match, the Trojans' home opener, was sponsored by Bojangle's. The theme for the night was "It's Bo Time - Can You Dig It!'
Mount Olive (1-8) jumped out to a two-set advantage, but was forced to go to a fourth set after Shaw won a marathon third set. An ace by Johnson, one of her match-high four aces in the match, helped vault the Trojans to an 8-3 lead in the fourth set. The margin reached double figures at 21-11 after an ace by Danielle Stachura. Shaw (4-3) saved four match points before Sarah Watkins' kill sealed the win.
Mount Olive trailed much of the opening set until Alysha Burnett's kill broke a 14-14 tie and put the Trojans ahead to stay. The Trojans pulled away as Burnett recorded a pair of kills and back-to-back aces during a 6-1 run to extend Mount Olive's lead to 20-15. Shaw got as close as 21-18 after a kill by Kelly Murphy. Kali Watson sealed the opening set with an ace on set point. The Trojans served seven of their season-high 11 aces in the first set.
The second set was all Mount Olive as Nichole Karas' ace highlighted a five-point service run and staked the Trojans to a 5-0 lead. A pair of blocks by Watkins, one with Montgomery Register and one with Danielle Stachura, helped Mount Olive take its biggest lead at 18-10. Shaw got as close as 20-16 after a kill and a block by Murphy highlighted a run of four unanswered points by the Bears. The Trojans held on to take a two-set lead after Britni Johnson's tip kill on set point.
Shaw broke away from a 21-21 tie in the third set after kills by Murphy and Deja Simpson. The Trojans tied the set on a block by Register and Watkins and a block by Johnson and Morgan Morrissette. A kill by Murphy gave the Bears the first of three set points, but the Trojans saved all three. Plante saved a set point with a kill and Mackenzie Call saved a pair of set points with kills, including a floater that landed in the middle of the Bears' court.
The Trojans had a chance to serve for the win after a block by Register and Plante broke a 26-26 tie. But Murphy's kill kept Shaw in the contest and a pair of Trojan attack errors sent the match to the fourth set.
Register finished with a match-high seven blocks, while Watkins and Watson each added five blocks. Burnett and Allie Kepko joined Johnson in double figures in digs with 10 apiece. Burnett and Watson also served two aces apiece. Setters Karas and Stachura each recorded 20 assists.
Murphy led all players with 22 kills for Shaw, while Morghan Robinson added 12 kills. Michelle Olmeda-Gonzalez had 50 assists and Tiffany Brooks finished with a match-high 17 digs for the Bears.
Mount Olive opens Conference Carolinas play this weekend with a pair of matches at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans play host to Converse College Friday at 7 p.m., then entertain Limestone College Saturday at 2 p.m.