FORT WAYNE, Ind. --- Lees-McRae senior Matt Harpenau (15) and sophomore Brady Markle (11) registered double digit kills, but LMC fell 11-25, 22-25, 15-25 to No. 12 IPFW in nonconference action Friday night at Gates Sports Center in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The Mastodons (14-4) used an efficient offensive attack while hitting .429 on the evening. The Bobcats (12-8) dropped their third consecutive match after winning seven of their prior eight.
IPFW set the tone early with an 8-0 run to open play, thanks to three service aces. Markle (York, Pa.) delivered a pair of kills, but the Bobcats still trailed 17-8.
The Mastodons capped off the set with an 8-3 run following consecutive service aces from David Frazee and a trio of kills from three different players and swung at a match-high .529.
Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) knotted up the middle set at eight's with a pair of kills. IPFW's Eddie Rivera responded with authority by earning three of the next four points via kill to create some separation on the scoreboard.
The Mastodons' Andrew Sellan and Bryan Saunders combined for a block to keep the lead at four.
However, LMC responded with a strong push cut the deficit to two, twice.
IPFW staved off the fiesta Bobcat squad while Saunders chipped in a kill before an LMC attack error concluded the second set.
The home squad produced three of their 11 aces to jump out to a 10-5 in the final set.
Rivera connected on one of his 10 kills to push the lead to seven, 15-8.
IPFW continued its strong play while Sellan made it 20-10.
The Mastodons kept LMC at arm's length to complete the sweep.
IPFW hit better than .380 in each set while Sellan (12) paced the team in kills. Gabriel Quinones dished out 17 assists while Rivera had four aces.
LMC's Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) paved the way with 28 assists while a trio of Bobcats had four digs. Josh Cothron (Bradenton, Fla.) led the team with three block assists.
Coach Dave Schmidlin's squad wraps up its nonconference slate when it travels to Muncie, Ind. to play Ball State Saturday at 7 p.m.