Bobcats place four on all-Conference Carolinas team

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- Four members of the Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team have been named to the all-Conference Carolinas team, announced league officials Friday. Joshua Jones (Christmas, Fla.) and Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) each earned second-team honors, as Jose Ribas (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) were both named to the third team.

Regular season champion Mount Olive College led the way with six all-conference selections, as the Bobcats and Pfeiffer University each had four honorees. Erskine College and Limestone College both placed three student-athletes on the all-conference teams.

Lees-McRae has put together a 17-11 overall record this season, including a 10-6 mark in league play to earn the third seed in this weekend's Conference Carolinas Tournament. The Bobcats have played one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season, taking on a trio of ranked teams while entering the league tournament as the only conference school to win a set against a squad in the national top 15.

Jones has shined for the Green and Gold during his sophomore campaign, entering the week ranked 19th in the nation in blocks per set (1.12) while attacking at a .350 clip this season. The reigning Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year has posted at least 10 kills in seven matches, including a season-high 15 smashes in a thrilling five-set victory over Limestone to open the campaign.

Negron put together a strong regular season for the Bobcats, averaging 2.37 digs per set to rank fourth in the conference. A native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Negron posted at least nine digs in 14 matches this season, including a campaign-best 17 at Barton on January 25. The junior libero has enjoyed one of the best careers in program history to date, entering the weekend with 518 digs as a Bobcat.

Ribas has been a consistent force at the net for Lees-McRae this season, leading the team in kills (260) and kills per set (3.10) while posting 101 digs and 55 blocks. The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico native has recorded at least 10 smashes in 11 matches this season, including back-to-back 20-kill performances against Pfeiffer (Mar. 19) and NJIT (Mar. 21) to lead the Bobcats to a pair of pivotal victories.

Ramirez has enjoyed a stellar junior season for the Bobcats, averaging just under 10 assist per set while leading the team with 27 service aces. The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico native has put together one of the best careers in program history, recording 2,312 assists to date while ranking among the school's all-time leaders with 56 aces.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday evening when the Bobcats take on No. 12 Penn State University at 7 p.m. in University Park, Pa.

- LMC -