BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The freshmen duo of Gabriel Rivera and Keenan Freitas paced a strong-minded Lees-McRae defensive effort while LMC held Milligan to a hitting percentage of -.014 in a sweep, 25-16, 25-19, 25-12, in an exhibition match Tuesday evening at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Bobcats struck at a .300 clip in the opening set while five players amassed at least four kills on the evening. The Buffaloes didn't manage more than seven kills in any set during the second game in school history.
The first set was tight early while an LMC service error tied it at four.
The Bobcats gained momentum thanks a 12-4 run while Rivera (Cupey Bajo, Puerto Rico) chipped in with one of his game-high nine kills.
MC's Joshua Foote and Tony Miner added a pair of kills to cut the deficit to seven, 17-10.
LMC held strong and another Rivera kill and Drew Blecher (York, Pa.) ace boosted the Bobcats to a 25-16 win.
Milligan used a pair of Miner kills and multiple attack errors from LMC to keep the second set interesting while the squads were tied at 12.
LMC responded with strong play from Freitas (Hilo, Hawaii) to go on a 9-2 run, 21-14.
The Buffaloes would chip away and cut the lead to four, 23-19, following a blocking error. However, LMC clamped down to claim the next two points to grab a 2-0 lead.
The Bobcats dominated the final set when they started the set on a 16-5 run while Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) nailed two service aces.
Freshman Mark Shayka (Hamilton, Va.) added two of his four kills while the Bobcats cruised to a 25-12 final set win.
LMC held Milligan to a -.174 clip in the final set while Rivera led both teams in kills. Freitas amassed seven kills and a game-high eight digs. Senior Josh Cothron (Bradenton, Fla.) impressed up front with seven kills, four block assists and a solo block.
Blecher paved the way with 22 assists while Morrison chimed in with three aces.
Miner led the Buffaloes with eight kills and seven digs while Hobie Vannoy dished out 13 assists.
The Bobcats return to action Friday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. when they battle Pfeiffer in a Conference Carolinas match in Misenheimer, N.C.
- LMC -