BANNER ELK, N.C. --- John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) combined for 25 kills to lead the Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team to a straight-set sweep of King College in Conference Carolinas play on Wednesday evening in Williams Gymnasium.
Lees-McRae (11-9, 5-5 CC) won the match by scores of 25-22, 25-23, and 25-19, holding King (10-20, 2-8 CC) to a .139 clip on the attack while posting a .222 hitting percentage of its own. The Bobcats recorded 44 kills, 28 digs, and 3.5 blocks on the night, as King dug out 28 attacks while adding 24 smashes and 10.5 stuffs.
Lucas paced the Bobcats with a match-high 14 kills, as Harpenau added 11 smashes and a .400 hitting percentage. Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) chipped in seven kills, as Edmund Walkley (Glenbrook, Australia) celebrated his senior night with six smashes. Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) posted 37 assists and seven digs, while Lucas and Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) each dug out six Tornado attacks.
Eric Glenn and James Friddle led the way for King with seven and six kills, respectively, as Glenn posted a match-high seven block assists. Ned Parker added 21 assists and eight digs, while Brandon Rorer dug out a match-high nine Bobcat attacks.
The Bobcats started off strong in the first set, taking an early 13-7 lead on a Tornado miscue before stretching the advantage to 19-12 following a kill from Walkley. King would fight back, closing the gap to 22-21 with a 9-3 run before Lees-McRae answered with three of the next four points to claim the set, 25-22, following a Tornado miscue.
King opened the second set with a 4-0 spurt before Lees-McRae responded with a 15-6 surge, taking a 15-10 advantage on a kill by Ramirez. After King countered with a 10-5 run to even the tally at 20-20, the Bobcats answered with a 5-3 spurt to close out the set on a Tornado miscue to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
The Bobcats carried the momentum into the third, taking an early 9-3 lead before King countered with a 7-1 spurt, evening the tally at 10-10 following a block by Glenn and Parker. Lees-McRae would answer with a 13-4 surge, opening a 23-14 advantage on a Tornado miscue pushing King to match point at 24-16 following a Harpenau smash. King would fight off a trio of match points before the Bobcats claimed the set and the match on a Tornado miscue.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Sunday when the fourth-seeded Bobcats travel to Misenheimer, N.C. to take on top-seeded Pfeiffer University in the semifinal round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament at 3 p.m.
- LMC -