BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Mount Olive College men's volleyball team recorded 10.5 blocks and a .309 hitting percentage en route to a three-set sweep of Lees-McRae College on Saturday afternoon in Conference Carolinas play.
Mount Olive (6-2, 2-0 CC) won the match by scores of 25-20, 25-22, and 25-20 as it held Lees-McRae (4-6, 0-1 CC) to a .165 hitting percentage. Chad Mercado (Orlando, Fla.) led the way for the Bobcats with a match-high 16 kills, while Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) paced LMC with a contest-best 34 assists and Juan Ramirez (Miami, Fla.) chipped in eight digs.
Angel Dache (La Habana, Cuba) posted a team-high 11 kills to pace Mount Olive, as John David Nunns (Fayetteville, N.C.) recorded a match-best seven blocks. Adam Miracle (Cincinnati, Ohio) chipped in seven kills for the Trojans, while Jarvis Karchewski (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) paced Mount Olive with 30 assists. Benedikt Schirmers (Rottenburg, Germany) also recorded a match-high nine digs.
Mount Olive started off strong, opening an early 12-6 lead in the first set on a Schirmers kill. The Bobcats would stay within striking distance, cutting the margin to 19-16 on back-to-back kills by Chris Flood (Louisville, Ky.) before the Trojans answered by closing out the 25-20 win with a 6-4 spurt.
The second set proved to be the most tightly contested of the match, with neither team holding more than a two-point advantage until the waning moments, when Mount Olive launched a 7-4 run to close out the frame on a Miracle kill.
Lees-McRae refused to cede an easy victory to the Trojans in the third set, battling back from an early 6-1 deficit to take an 11-10 lead on an emphatic kill by Mercado. The Bobcats would push the lead to 13-11 on a block by Flood and John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) before Mount Olive responded, countering with a 7-2 run to claim an 18-15 lead on a Dache kill. Lees-McRae fought back once again, trimming the margin to 21-19 on a Mercado kill before Mount Olive quelled the rally with a 4-1 spurt to close out the match.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Tuesday when the Bobcats host King College (Tenn.) to continue their conference schedule. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -