Offense Serves LMC Past Coker, 3-1

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae men's volleyball team had five players register at least five kills during an impressive offensive display while LMC hit .390 on the day in a 25-17, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18 win against Coker in nonconference play Saturday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.

The Bobcats (7-4) remain perfect at home (3-0) while Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) continued his impressive senior campaign with a match-high 19.0 total points. The Cobras (4-8) dropped their fourth consecutive match despite swinging at a .409 clip in the second set.

LMC controlled the pace in the opening set while leading wire-to-wire. The duo of Brady Markle (York, Pa.) and Harpenau paved the way with a combined eight kills.

An attack error the Cobras' Jared Geizer gave LMC a comfortable five-point cushion, 11-6, in early action of the first set.

A Liam Flaherty kill shaved the deficit to two, 12-10, but the Bobcats responded with a 6-2 run following a John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) kill to stretch the lead to six, 18-12. Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) gave LMC its largest lead with an ace, 23-16, before Markle followed suit to close out the set.

Geizer redeemed himself with an ace of his own in to give Coker an early 7-3 advantage in the second.

Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) delivered a powerful kill while Harpenau chimed in with an ace to knot it at 13.

The Bobcats gained the upper hand with an 8-4 run to grab a 21-18 lead after a Ricardo Ferrer service error.

Lucas and Markle combined for LMC's final three kills to keep the Cobras at bay to take a 2 sets to none lead. Both teams were stellar offensively while LMC hit at a .565 clip.

The third set was a see-saw battle while there were four lead changes.

Coker grabbed a 9-7 lead after an Artur Cabral kill and LMC attack error. Following a Bobcat time, the home squad responded with 7-1 run capped off by one of Harpenau's match-high 17 kills.

However, Coker responded with a 9-4 run of its own to take a lead it never relinquished. The Bobcats would cut the deficit to one on four occasions, but a Luke Hansen kill finished the set.

Sheers drilled another kill to tie the fourth at 9 prior to a 7-3 run from LMC to push its lead to 16-12.

Ramirez delivered three of his seven kills in part of a 6-2 run while the Bobcats sealed the victory with a 25-18 win.

Harpenau and Markle (13) paced the squad offensively in kills while Ramirez led the way with 42 assists and four service aces. Lucas filled the stat sheet with eight kills, five block assists and three digs. LMC had a season-high 10 aces.

Geizer led the Cobras with 13 kills while Ferrer dished out 42 assists.

The Bobcats return to Conference Carolinas play when they welcome King on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.

 - LMC -