Britni Johnson led all players with 11 kills and combined with Danielle Stachura and Sarah Watkins to key a pair of second-set comebacks, but University of Mount Olive fell to Lees-McRae College 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 in Conference Carolinas women's volleyball Friday at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans battled back from an early seven-point deficit to come within two points of taking the second set.
Mount Olive (3-14 overall, 2-5 Conference Carolinas) fell behind early in the first set, but kills by Morgan Morrissette and Johnson, and a block by Johnson and Montgomery Register gave the Trojans a 15-13 lead. But two blocks by Laneica Williams and Jordan Banta triggered a 6-0 Lees-McRae run and the Bobcats led the remainder of the set.
After scoring 12 of the last 15 points of the opening set, Lees-McRae (4-12, 3-4) scored the first five points of the second set and raced out to a 10-3 lead. A Johnson kill and a Johnson-Register block halted the Bobcats' run and ignited a Trojan scoring run. Stachura had a second-ball kill and Watkins recorded two kills and a pair of blocks with Sydney Kanupp as Mount Olive rallied to tie the set 12-12. After the two teams exchanged side outs, a block and a kill by Williams helped Lees-McRae break away for a 20-14 advantage.
Johnson would spark another UMO rally with back-to-back kills and a pair of service aces as the Trojans tied the set again 23-23. But Lees-McRae went back on top on Rachel Cutshaw's kill and Banta followed with an ace to give the Bobcats a two-set lead.
Lees-McRae took control early in the third set as Madison Martin's ace broke a 3-3 tie and three consecutive Trojan attack errors capped an 8-1 Bobcat run. Mount Olive never got closer than four points the rest of the way and Williams' ace sealed the win for Lees-McRae.
Register finished with five blocks, while Watkins added four blocks and Johnson tallied three blocks. Johnson and Alysha Burnett each recorded two service aces. Nicole Karas tallied 15 assists, while Stachura added 10 assists and came within one dig of a double-double. Casey Fiechter had a match-high 15 digs.
Williams and Jariliz Cotte led a balanced Lees-McRae attack with eight kills apiece. Cotte also had a match-high three aces, while Banta led all players with six blocks.
Mount Olive concludes its weekend action Saturday as the Trojans play host to King University in a Conference Carolinas match-up. First serve is 2 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.