It’s been a while - and my apologies - since we’ve updated you on Trojan sports teams at the University of Mount Olive.
Not surprisingly, it’s been yet another busy week on campus.
Let’s start with tennis.
The Trojan men and women each remained perfect in Conference Carolinas play Wednesday afternoon. The men escaped Belmont Abbey, 4-3, while the women triumphed 7-0.
Honored as the team’s lone senior, Arianna Orozco prevailed at No. 5 singles to give UMO a 2-0 advantage. Liza Voloshyna dropped just one game at No. 1 singles, while No. 3 Nele Weber pulled off a match-clinching, straight-set win.
The Trojans polished off the shutout behind victories from Ingrid Montserrate, Ece Yuksel and Deike Schipper.
Ranked No. 9 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) regional poll, UMO climbed to 10-0 overall and 6-0 in Conference Carolinas action.
On the men’s side, the Trojans won all three doubles courts to earn what turned out be the decisive edge in their marathon thriller.
Armando Ferreira, Guillerme Oliveira and Israel Rojas each conquered their respective singles opponent. Ferreira, the two-time reigning conference player-of-the-year, topped the Crusaders’ Bailey Horne 7-6 4-6, 7-5.
Connor Watson notched the game-winning goal 84 seconds into overtime and lifted nationally-ranked UMO past pesky Barton, 10-9, on Wednesday afternoon.
The Trojans led 7-3 before Barton went on a 5-0 run.
Sam Skousen and Watson scored within four minutes of each other to put UMO back in front, 9-8. Barton tied the game at 9-9 with 53 seconds left in regulation.
Watson finished with four goals for the Trojans, who are 2-0 in overtime games and 3-0 in outcomes decided by one goal this season.
Goalie Andrew Avarello notched 13 saves.
UMO (7-1 overall, 2-1 CC) begins a season-ending, three-game road swing at Emmanuel on Saturday.
WILSON - UMO dropped a doubleheader 8-0 and 6-2 to rival Barton on Wednesday afternoon.
The Trojans managed just two hits - singles by Courtlyn Cooney and Cana Shrock - in the opener.
Cooney had two hits in game two. Emma Mooney, Kylie Emanuele (RBI), Cassandra Lassiter, Shrock and Madison Morgan supplied one hit apiece.
UMO fell to 10-4 in Conference Carolinas play.
MURFREESBORO - Chowan University weathered a late second-half rally to upset defending Conference Carolinas champion UMO, 3-2, on Wednesday afternoon.
The Hawks scored in the 39th and twice in the 84th minute to knock the Trojans from the unbeaten ranks.
UMO’s Jaelyn Brown converted a penalty kick in the 85th minute. Teammate Sara Berglund scored on Jaslyn Goff’s assist in the 90th minute.
No. 7-ranked UMO extended its win streak to 10 games with a 17-2 shellacking of Virginia State University at Scarborough Field on Tuesday afternoon.
VSU led 2-1 through 1 1/2 innings before the Trojans responded with 16 consecutive runs.
Catcher Zack Smith paced UMO with three hits and three RBI. Gunner Tolston (RBI), Blake McLean (four RBI) and Joe Mason (RBI) supplied two hits apiece.
Stephen Baughan swatted a home run.
UMO cranked out 16 hits against VSU, which departed 3-6 overall.
Justin Koehler claimed the mound win in relief of right-handed starter Blake Gipson. Koehler collected four strikeouts in two-plus innings of work.
The Trojans (25-6 overall) launch a season-ending, nine-game road swing Friday at in-state foe Belmont Abbey. UMO plays at Catawba on Apr. 13 and finishes its conference slate at Erskine.
WILSON - Tobi Azeez pounded out a career-high 33 kills and regular-season champion UMO escaped Conference Carolinas rival Barton 21-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 16-14 on Tuesday.
Luke Visgitis and Eric Visgitis posted 11 and eight kills, respectively, for the Trojans. Iyanu Adebisi recorded seven kills and seven digs.
Jerrod Ferguson dished out 55 assists for the Trojans, who completed their regular-season sweep of the Bulldogs.
Azeez was named the conference’s player-of-the-week for the third time this season. Ferguson was named specialist-of-the-week.
Dominic Hagerty earned recognition as the Off The Block’s national freshman of the week. He registered 11 kills, collected five digs and hit .320 against Erskine.
WILSON - UMO warmed up for the season-ending Conference Carolinas tournament with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-23 sweep over Barton at Wilson Gym on Tuesday evening.
Starr Sergent, Ele’sia Williams and Amara Eziakonwa collected six kills apiece for the Trojans. Jenna Myer and Madison Goodman each served three aces.
Goodman doled out a team-high 13 assists, followed by Myer with eight and Morgan Prots with three. Prots led the defense with 13 digs.
The Trojans (6-3) entertain Converse on Saturday in opening-round pool play of the conference tournament.
Men’s indoor track
GREENVILLE, S.C. - UMO senior Jon Wojcuich was named the Conference Carolinas Winter Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year.
The Beulaville native emerged as the Conference Carolinas indoor champ in the weight throw (17.45 meters) and was named the Elite 23 Award Winner.
Wojcuich has a 3.992 grade-point average in the classroom.
Senior Mallory Ratliff was named the Conference Carolinas pitcher-of-the-week.
In game one of a doubleheader against Chowan University, Ratliff allowed just one hit in five innings and struck out six in a complete-game shutout.
She has eight wins inside the circle and has logged 56 strikeouts in 64.3 innings on the mound.