Riverside, CA--The Lees-McRae men's volleyball team closed out their four game road trip to California dropping back-to-back matches on Saturday afternoon in a tournament hosted by California Baptist in Riverside, CA. The Bobcats fell to UC Santa Cruz 3-1, then lost to Holy Names 3-2 in a tight five game match.
UC SANTA CRUZ 3, LMC 1
(23-30, 31-29, 28-30, 19-30)
Despite a strong defensive effort by the Bobcats, the squad was unable to gain control of the four game match. After losing game one 30-23 the Bobcats battled back tying up the match 1-1 when they topped Santa Cruz by two 31-29. The next game proved to be another two-point contest, however, this one ended 30-28 in the favor of Santa Cruz. A consistent offensive effort by the Slugs put game four out of reach for LMC, and the Slugs took the game and the match with a 30-19 win.
Orlando, FL native Colin Kelly set the pace for the Bobcats with 24 kills, hitting .383 and serving three aces. Ryan Black (Escondido, CA), hitting .519, had 17 kills along with a block solo and a block assist for the match. Freshman Shane Holderby (Virginia Beach, VA) dished out 50 assists while Robert Ritchie (Hollywood, FL) added 12 digs.
"We played tenacious defense but Santa Cruz's consistency on offense was the key factor for their victory. At critical times our team could not be consistent in their sideout efficiency," commented Coach Jamie Petrik after game one.
HOLY NAMES 3 LMC 2
(23-30, 30-23, 29-31, 35-33, 13-15)
The Bobcats' second match for the day showed the resiliency of the young squad. After dropping game one 30-23 to the Hawks, the Bobcats responded by taking game two by the same score. Game three was a back-and-forth affair that ended with the Hawks on top 31-29. Knowing that the match was on the line, LMC clawed their way to a 35-33 win in game four forcing a fifth game where the Bobcats finally fell 15-13.
I was very proud of the way the guys played in games 2, 3, 4, and 5. Any of those games could have gone to either team. At critcal points we matched their court energy, and it was those times that we pushed through and scored crucial points," said Coach Petrik after the five game effort.
Freshman Colin Kelly had a career-and-game-high 34 kills against Holy Names while also adding five block assists. Shane Holderby also had a career-high 70 assists plus served up three aces. Robert Ritchie was an impact player both offensively and defensively with 13 kills (.346), 14 digs, and four block assists as was Ryan Black with 12 kills, one block solo and a block assist.
The Bobcats return to Banner Elk where they will host Philadelphia Biblical Institute on March 15 at 12:00pm in Williams Gymnasium.
Pictured: Shane Holderby