April 20, 2011

Mercado nets second straight all-Conference Carolinas recognition

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- Lees-McRae College senior Chad Mercado (Orlando, Fla.) has been selected to the all-Conference Carolinas Men's Volleyball First Team for the second straight season, announced league officials Wednesday.

Mercado led the Bobcats to a 16-10 record this season, including a 5-3 mark in Conference Carolinas play, as Lees-McRae registered a trio of victories over NCAA Division I opponents this spring while pushing No. 11 Penn State University to five sets on Feb. 19. A native of Orlando, Fla., Mercado led the conference in kills per set this season, averaging 4.69 smashes per frame to enter the week ranked second in the nation in that category.

The two-time all-conference selection enjoyed a tremendous season for the Bobcats, recording 399 kills and a .309 hitting percentage, while surpassing the 1,000-kill plateau for his career with a 22-kill performance against George Mason on Mar. 25. Mercado garnered Conference Carolinas Player of the Week twice this season, while also becoming the second Bobcat in program history to be recognized as the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division I-II National Player of the Week on Mar. 7.

Mercado ends his career with the Bobcats as one of the program's all-time leaders in kills (1,090), digs (428), blocks (178), service aces (63), and points (1,276). The 6-5, 235-pound opposite tallied at least 20 kills on 18 occasions during his career, including a pair of 30-kill nights last season. During his tenure with the Bobcats, Lees-McRae has posted a 50-40 record, including a 10-6 mark in conference play.

Lees-McRae is expected to return 13 letter-winners from this year's 16-10 squad, including rising sophomores Eduardo Gonzales (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Chris Flood (Louisville, Ky.), John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio), Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico). The Bobcats posted three wins over NCAA Division I opponents this season, including a pair of straight-set victories over New Jersey Institute of Technology while pushing 11th-ranked Penn State University to five frames on Feb. 19.

- LMC -