February 21, 2014

Men's Volleyball Stuffs Rutgers-Newark; Pushes Streak to Four, 3-0

NEWARK, N.J. --- Lees-McRae sophomore Brady Markle smashed a game-high 13 kills and senior Matt Harpenau tallied six block assists while LMC dominated on both sides of the ball in a sweep of Rutgers-Newark, 25-19, 25-21, 25-21, Friday evening at The Golden Dome in Newark, N.J.

The Bobcats (9-4) hit over a .420 clip in two of the three sets while holding R-N to under .170 in all three. The Scarlet Raiders (4-4) led only twice, by one point each time, throughout the match while being held to a .000 percentage in the second set.

Both squads exchanged blows often in the opener while Markle (York, Pa.) recorded five of his kills to give the Bobcats a slim 15-14 lead.

Markle nailed a service ace and used shaky play by the home team to use a 5-1 run create some breathing room.

LMC would stretch the lead to six, 23-17, before Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) and John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) chipped in with a kill each to give the Bobcats a set advantage.

Coach Dave Schmidlin's squad was collaborated for a match-high 17 kills in the while hitting at a .424 clip.

The momentum carried into the second set while LMC and jumped to a 5-0 lead after Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Sheers delivered a kill apiece.

R-N's Travis Mintzer tallied a service ace to cut the deficit to one, 7-6.  However, LMC responded with authority by ripping off a 10-3 run, to extend the lead to eight, 17-9.

The Scarlet Raiders clawed back thanks to a 12-6 run of their own thanks to strong play from Mintzer and Colin Ferguson to make it 23-21.

Another Markle kill and an R-N attack error sealed the set for LMC.

The Bobcats continued early-set success by sprinting out to a 15-9 lead following a trio of Mark Shayka (Hamilton, Va.) kills.

Senior Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) played a key role by stuffing a kill attempt, with Harpenau, and drilling one of his three kills to give LMC a 24-21 lead. R-N sliced the deficit to two on multiple occasions prior to Morrison's strong play.

Harpenau delivered the dagger with a kill to wrap up LMC's second consecutive sweep.

The Bobcat offense hit .474 in the final set.

Markle paced both teams in kills while Harpenau and Morrison had seven apiece. Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) dished out 34 assists while fellow Puerto Rico native Efrain Negron (Caguas) recorded 10 digs.

R-N's Mintzer registered a team-high nine kills while Kevin McCandless paved the way with 12 assists.

The Bobcats look to build on their season-high four-match win streak with a short trip to battle NJIT on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Newark, N.J.

- LMC -