Negron, Harpenau Lead Dominating Bobcat Performance Over Belmont Abbey, 3-0

BELMONT, N.C. --- Lees-McRae senior Matt Harpenau crushed a match-high 19 kills and senior teammate Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) collected a season-high 21 digs while LMC swept Belmont Abbey for the second time this season, 25-17, 30-28, 25-8, Tuesday night in Conference Carolinas action at the Wheeler Center in Belmont, N.C.

The Bobcats (10-5, 4-2 CC) collected their fifth win out of their last six while holding Belmont Abbey to a -.158 clip in the final set. The Crusaders (2-12, 1-8) failed to have a player reach double figures in kills while hitting .000 in the second set.

The first set remained tight while Belmont Abbey's Derek Sullivan registered a block to tie it at 11.

LMC responded with a 7-4 run while Mark Shayka (Hamilton, Va.) and Josh Cothron (Bradenton, Fla.) notched a kill prior to a Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) service ace.

Freshman Harrison Albert (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) tallied an ace himself before a Crusader attack error gave LMC the set, 25-17.

Neither team could create much space while a Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) kill induced the sets' fifth tie, at 13.

Belmont Abbey would claim the next three points before LMC used a pair of CC Player of the Week, Brady Markle (York, Pa.) service aces to cap off a 4-0 run.

Markle and Harpenau delivered consecutive kills to force set point, but the Crusaders' Evan Young collected a block and a kill to put BAC up, 26-25. The Bobcats responded with a kill from Shayka, Harpenau and a pair from Markle to take the tightly-contested set, 30-28.

LMC dominated the third set and jumped out to a 12-1 lead. The Bobcat defense used a block from Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) to jumpstart it.

The Bobcats continued to thrash the Crusaders while Harpenau collected a quartet of kills to lead LMC to the 25-8 win. Coach Dave Schmidlin's squad hit .455 in the deciding set.

Markle accumulated 13 kills while Ramirez dished out 38 assists. Cothron had three solo blocks and two block assists.

Spencer Fournell led the Crusaders with seven kills while Derek Sullivan handed out 18 assists.

LMC returns to action Saturday with a trip to Hartsville, S.C. to battle Sacred Heart and Coker at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., respectively in the Coker Tournament.

- LMC -