MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. --- Senior Matt Harpenau capped off his highly-touted LMC career with 14 kills while LMC notched 11 total team blocks in a 14-25, 18-25, 25-21, 21-25 loss to No. 3 Mount Olive in the Conference Carolinas Men's Volleyball Quarterfinals at Kornegay Arena in Mount Olive, N.C. on Wednesday evening.
The Trojans (14-11) advance to play No. 2 Pfeiffer Saturday after a trio of players notched double digit kills, led by Steven Cruse with 21. The Bobcats (12-16) will bid farewell to seven seniors, including Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico), who dished out 36 assists.
The Trojans sprinted out to a 7-2 lead thanks to a pair of service aces to open play in the first set. John Sobel (Holbrook, N.Y.) tallied one of his nine kills to shave the deficit to two, 7-5.
UMO responded with a 10-5 run to stretch the lead to 10, 20-10. The Trojans had a trio of players record a kill to conclude the opening set while holding LMC to a match-low -.059.
UMO's Quaid Marin delivered three consecutive aces to give the home squad an early 6-3 lead in the second set. Marin also paced both teams with 53 assists.
Garrett Dimm caught fire and reeled off four kills to make it 12-7.
Seniors Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) and Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) notched a kill each and Ramirez used an ace as part of a 5-1 run while LMC cut the deficit to six, 24-18.
However, UMO's Angel Dache recorded one of his 11 kills to seal the set.
The third set proved to be entertaining while LMC hit for a match-high .300 and held UMO to a .156 clip.
The Trojans controlled the pace in the early going while using consecutive LMC attack errors to build a five-point lead, 9-4.
Coach Dave Schmidlin's squad didn't back down and produced a 12-6 run, fueled by Harpenau and senior John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio), who combined for four blocks.
Senior Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) chipped in with a block and a block assist to keep UMO at arm's length, 22-17.
Three service errors sealed the Trojans fate in the third while LMC trailed two sets to one.
UMO swung at a match-high .481 in the final set while amassing 17 kills.
Sobel connected on a kill to knot it at 10 before the Trojans ripped off a 7-3 run to make it 17-13.
LMC would cut it two, twice, but was unable to complete the comeback while seeing its season come to a close.
Senior Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) led the team with six digs while Ramirez and Lucas earned four block assists each.
- LMC -