Bobcats rally for thrilling 3-1 win over Limestone
BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Joshua Jones (Christmas, Fla.) tallied 10 kills and a match-high eight blocks to lead the charge as the Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team rallied for a 3-1 victory over Limestone College in Conference Carolinas play on Friday evening in Williams Gymnasium.
Lees-McRae (4-2, 4-2 CC) won the match by scores of 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, and 27-25, sweeping the season series with Limestone (4-2, 4-2 CC) while holding the Saints to a .171 clip on the attack. The Bobcats posted a .192 hitting percentage of their own, while tallying 47 kills, 30 digs, and 13 blocks.
Javier Jimenez (San Sebastian, Puerto Rico) paced the Bobcats with 13 kills, as John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) added 11 smashes and five block assists. Jones chipped in 10 kills, a .450 hitting percentage, as well as a match-high eight blocks (one solo, seven assists), while Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) posted 12 digs. Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) recorded 36 assists and five blocks (two solo, three assists) to go along with a match-high three aces.
Scott Warren led the way for Limestone with a match-high 15 kills, adding six digs and four blocks (two solo, two assists). Eric Zaun chipped in 11 smashes, as Andrew Miller posted six block assists. Joe Gilliland recorded a match-high 14 digs, while Andrew Pile tallied a contest-best 41 assists.
Limestone jumped out to an early 8-4 lead in the first set, launching a 5-0 run to open the four-point advantage following a Bobcat miscue. Lees-McRae answered with an 8-6 spurt, closing the gap to 14-12 on a Jose Ribas (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) kill before the Saints countered with a 7-4 run, stretching the lead to 21-16 following a block by Kevin Hart and Sean Davis.
After the Saints pushed the Bobcats to set point at 24-20, and Lees-McRae answered with a 3-0 spurt to cut the lead to 24-23, Zaun quelled the rally and capped the frame with a smash to give Limestone a 1-0 advantage in the match.
The teams battled throughout the second set, with Lees-McRae claiming an early 8-5 lead before Limestone answered with a 9-5 spurt, taking a 14-13 advantage on a Bobcat miscue. Lees-McRae countered with an 11-4 surge, pushing the Saints to set point at 24-18 following back-to-back aces from Ramirez. Limestone would respond once again with a 3-0 spurt, fighting off a trio of set points before Jones evened the match at 1-1 with an emphatic smash.
Lees-McRae carried the momentum into the third set, opening the frame with a 14-9 run that was capped by a Limestone miscue. The Bobcats would then push the margin to 19-11 with a 5-2 spurt, ending the run with a Jones ace before pushing the advantage to 23-14 on a perfectly executed solo block by Ramirez. Limestone countered with a 4-1 run, closing the gap to 24-18 before Jimenez capped the set with a smash to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Saints battled back in the fourth frame, seizing an early 10-6 lead before pushing the advantage to 15-10 following a Bobcat miscue. Lees-McRae answered with a 5-2 spurt, closing the gap to 17-15 on a Jimenez kill.
After Limestone countered with a 5-2 run of its own to claim a 22-17 advantage, Lees-McRae stormed back with a 7-2 surge, evening the tally at 24-24 on back-to-back kills from Jones and Harpenau. The Saints would push the Bobcats to set point at 25-24 before Lees-McRae responded once again, tallying three straight points to claim the frame and the match, 27-25.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats host Coker College in a conference matchup at 12 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -