Banner Elk, NC--A young Bobcat team added two wins to its record Saturday afternoon in men's volleyball action in a tri-match held at Williams Gymnasium. The Bobcats gritted out a five game win over the 19-3 Philadelphia Biblical Institute in the first match of the day. Philadelphia Biblical Institute then rebounded, taking a 3-0 (30-26, 30-26, 31-29) win over King College (Bristol, TN). The Bobcats returned to the floor for the last match of the day to decisively defeat King College 3-0. With the wins, Lees-McRae improves it record to 6-13 for the year.
LMC 3 Philadelphia Bible Institute 2
(30-19, 30-23, 27-30, 24-30, 15-10)
The Bobcats came out firing in game one hitting an impressive .500 as a team and continued to put pressure on PBI in game two, setting themselves up with a 2-0 lead heading into the third game. Proven winners through the course of the season, the Crimson Eagles came into the third game determined to change the momentum of the match and grabbed a 30-27 victory. PBI, with a more veteran team, carried the momentum gained in game three over to game four this time defeating the Bobcats by six points (30-24) to force the match to a fifth game.
In game five the Bobcats proved that they have gained experience this season and, although down 8-6 at the switch, clawed their way back into the game tying the score at 10-10 before Ian Bryner (Miramar, FL) served the last five points of the match to give the Bobcats the 15-10 win.
After the game Coach Jamie Petrik commented, "We came out very strong and then the momentum shifted a lot in game 3. I thought our guys did a great job of fighting in game 5 and Ian's last serves were very strong."
Leaders for the Bobcats included Colin Kelly (Orlando, FL) who slammed down 27 kills along with a .409 hitting percentage, a block solo and six block assists and Shane Holderby (Virginia Beach, VA) with 46 assists and three crucial aces. Junior Ryan Black (Escondido, CA) and freshman Robert Ritchie (Hollywood, FL) each had six block assists while adding ten and seven kills respectively. Ritchie and classmate Juan Ramirez (Miami, FL) each had seven digs while Kyle Gauger (Penfield, NY) added five.
LMC 3 King 0
(30-17, 30-23, 30-20)
In their second match of the day the Bobcats came out fired up to play, dominating the Tornado 30-17 in the first game. The second game, though somewhat closer, proved to be much the same with the Bobcats coming out on top 30-23. Lees-McRae then showed consistency and an ability to maintain their attack when they finished off King 30-20 completing the three game sweep over the Tornado.
"I thought we did a great job of keeping our composure against King. We finally are learning how to get leads and finish games. The guys played hard," said Coach Petrik after the Bobcats second win of the day.
Robert Ritchie was an impact player on both the offensively and defensively with seven kills, a block solo, two block assists and four digs in the contest. Colin Kelly hit .607 for the match and added another 19 kills while Ryan Black, hitting .615, had nine kills and two block assists. Shane Holderby had 37 assists and served up three aces. Freshman Chad Mercado (Orlando, FL) had two block assists along with two aces for the match.
The Bobcats will resume play the weekend of March 28-29 when they host the Lees-McRae Classic. LMC will face Missouri Baptist Friday evening, then will take on Warner Southern on Saturday.
Pictured: Ian Bryner