MISENHEIMER, N.C – The Pfeiffer men’s volleyball team saw the door to the conference championship slam shut on Saturday evening as they were upended by the No. 3 seed Mount Olive Trojans by a score of 3-1. The Falcons finished the season 13-2 overall with a 10-5 conference record, whereas the Trojans finished 15-11, 10-4 CC.
Sonny Hirini led the attack for Pfeiffer with 18 of the team’s 55 kills. To go along with his team high kills, Hirini also led the team with six assisted blocks.
The Falcons boasted a team hitting percentage of .275 compared to Mount Olive’s .242.
To go along with his team high assists of 49, David Specian also led the team in digs as he posted eight digs on the evening.
The strong performance was not enough as the Trojans’ Angel Dache led all players with 24 kills and a hitting percentage of .467.
The first set went back-and-forth as neither team had a lead bigger than three. With the Falcons up 24-22 in the set, Mount Olive switched into another gear as they scored three straight points to take the 25-24 lead. Despite letting the lead slip, Pfeiffer notched the next two points as Hirini spiked a ball down to tie it up at 25, and then an attacking error by Mike Mann gave the Falcons the lead at 26-25. In the end, it was Mount Olive who would seize the advantage as they went on to win four out of the next five points to win the set 29-27.
The second set belonged to Pfeiffer from the beginning as they shot out to an early 7-3 lead, forcing the Trojans to call a timeout. The Falcons went on to take a lead by as much as eight as the lead never changed hands, giving Pfeiffer the second set by a score of 25-17 and setting up for a dramatic ending.
Much like the first set, the third set saw Mount Olive come out victorious after both teams fought hard till the end. The Falcons could not get a grasp on the set however, as they fell 25-21 to give the Trojans the 2-1 lead.
Down 16-20 and their backs against the wall in the fourth set, Pfeiffer rallied to make it a new ball game as the crowd and the players began to intensify their action. The Falcons won seven of the next ten points to even the set at 23-23, forcing Mount Olive to call yet another timeout. The timeout worked in favor of the Trojans however as Dache silenced the crowd with a kill to take the lead 24-23. Lewis Einarson set to serve, as all were quiet in Merner Gymnasium. The serve found the corner pocket, resulting in the game and match winning ace, slamming the door on the Falcons season and sending the Trojans to Due West, S.C. to face Erskine in the Conference Carolinas Championship