Mercado, Bobcats listed prominently in NCAA statistics

INDIANAPOLIS --- AVCA National Player of the Week Chad Mercado (Orlando, Fla.) is ranked third in the nation in kills per set (4.77), and the Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team is listed fourth in aces per frame, announced NCAA officials Thursday with the release of this week's NCAA Division I-II men's volleyball statistics.

Lees-McRae (11-7) has been on a tear of late, entering the week having won seven of its last eight matches, with the only loss in that span coming in a five-set thriller at No. 11 Penn State University. The Bobcats enter the week ranked fourth in aces per set (1.61), 12th in winning percentage (0.611), 14th in hitting percentage (0.288), and 17th in digs per frame (8.08). Lees-McRae is also listed 19th in kills per set (12.08), 20th in assists per frame (11.27), and 24th in blocks per set (2.08).

Mercado posted a pair of outstanding performances last Friday against Eastern Mennonite and NJIT, recording a combined 33 kills, three errors and .625 hitting percentage en route to the first national weekly honors of his career. The 6-5, 235-pound opposite raised his season hitting percentage 30 points on the night, surging 13 spots in the nation to enter the week ranked 11th with an attacking clip of .352. Mercado is also ranked 41st in digs per set (1.66).

Freshman setter Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) enters the week ranked 13th in assists per set (10.42) and 22nd in aces per frame (0.33), while Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) and John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) are each listed 44th in blocks per set (0.85). Lucas and Mercado are also ranked 49th (0.26) and 65th (0.21), respectively, in aces per set.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Monday, Mar. 14 when the Bobcats host Limestone College in a Conference Carolinas match at 3 p.m., and Philadelphia Biblical University in a 7:30 p.m. tilt. Both matches will be played in Williams Gymnasium.

- LMC -