Men's Volleyball

Men's Volleyball Falls in Five-Set Thriller at Barton

Men's Volleyball Falls in Five-Set Thriller at Barton

WILSON, N.C. --- Senior Matt Harpenau dominated with a season-high 21 kills, but a shaky first set loomed large while the Lees-McRae men's volleyball game lost a heartbreaking five-set thriller, 15-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 15-17 at Barton in Conference Carolinas action Saturday afternoon at the Dog House in Wilson, N.C.

The Bulldogs (3-7, 2-5 CC) held LMC to a -.040 hitting percentage in the opening set while going for a .455 clip. The Bobcats (5-4, 1-2 CC) amassed 14.5 total blocks while holding BC under a hitting percentage of .200 in the final four sets.

Senior Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) drilled one of his 11 kills to knot the first set at 8.

However, Barton responded with an 11-4 run to take a healthy 20-13 lead. The Bulldogs Jonathan Novoa-Miralles chimed in with a pair of kills while LMC struggled with four attack errors.

The Bobcats were unable to bounce back despite a kill from Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) and fell 25-15 in the opener.

The Bobcats flipped the script in the second set by using an 11-4 run of their own to jump out to a 20-13 lead. Sheers got in a grove and provided three service aces while Mark Shayka (Hamilton, Va.) notched a couple of kills.

The Bulldogs would slice into the lead and make it a four-point match, 21-17, but LMC finished strong and took the set, 25-18 while holding BC to a .000 clip.

Barton led the third set wire-to-wire and used a 9-2 run to distance itself and grab an 18-11 advantage. Zach McCalla racked up four kills during the stretch.

LMC would claw back following a Bulldog attack error to make it 19-16. BC would stave off the Bobcats thanks to a pair of McCalla kills and a duo of LMC service errors.

In the fourth set, a Harpenau kill gave LMC a 9-7 lead before the Bobcats used a 6-2 run to create some breathing room.

BC cut the lead to one, 19-18, but a Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) kill proved vital while LMC finished the set on a 6-1 run while John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) delivered the final blow.

The deciding set provided entertainment while producing six ties and neither team led by more than three.

Morrison added a pair of kills to tie the set at 12. Shayka and Lucas stuffed a Ladislav Lelkes attempt, but BC's Novoa-Miralles and McCalla lifted the home squad to with two kills and an ace to squeak out a 17-15 win.

McCalla paced the Bulldogs with 20 kills while Novoa-Miralles had 13. Federico Pagliara led the team with 40 assists and Michael McMahon racked up 17 digs.

Harpenau led the Bobcats in kills while Sheers impressed with 11. Ramirez paved the way with 41 assists while Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) chimed in with 11 digs. Lucas and Ramirez both recorded six block assists.

LMC returns to action when it hosts Milligan in an exhibition match Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.

 - LMC -