MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Lees-McRae College received a match-high 21 kills from Chad Mercado en route to a 3-0 (30-19, 32-30, 30-26) sweep over Pfeiffer University on Wednesday night in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball action inside the Merner Gym.
The win clinches the final playoff spot for the Bobcats moving on to face Mount Olive in the championship match next Saturday. Lees-McRae improves to 7-10 overall, 5-3 in league play while the Falcons fall to 7-14, 1-7.
The first five points on Thursday were traded back and forth on attack errors from both sides. Mercado got going with his first kill of the night at 4-3 before two more halfway through set one put the Bobcats up 17-12. Mercado went back-to-back just four plays later while Pfeiffer got to within five on a kill by Clancy Gay, but two Juan Ramirez kills finished off set one for Lees-McRae.
Set two went back and forth as Michael Dhalle broke a 14-14 tie with one of his kills on the night before Micah Bortner put down a pair of kills forcing a Lees-McRae timeout with a 23-19 Falcon advantage. After an Eric Edelman ace put Pfeiffer up five, Raphael Vieira started the comeback with back-to-back kills. A kill by Ramirez knotted set two up at 30-30 before a Falcon attack error and rotation violation gave the Bobcats a 2-0 match lead.
Vieira put the Bobcats up quickly in set three with another one of his 13 kills on the night at 9-5 in front of a Mercado ace that sent Lees-McRae up six at 18-12. Pfeiffer crept to within two at 27-25 on a kill by Andrew Whalen (Apopka, FL) but Mercado soon finished off the match with his 21st kill of the night clinching the playoff spot for Lees-McRae.
Lees-McRae will wrap up the 2010 season this weekend taking on Quincy (IL).