MUNCIE, Ind. --- Lees-McRae sophomore Brady Markle notched a team-high 11 kills, but LMC fell to No. 13 Ball State, 19-25, 19-25, 29-27, 3-25, in its final nonconference match of the year at Worthen Arena in Muncie, Ind. Saturday evening.
The Cardinals (14-5) won their seventh consecutive match while hitting at a .429 clip in the final set. The Bobcats (12-9) concluded a challenging nonconference slate while Josh Cothron (Bradenton, Fla.) tallied five block assists.
Senior Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) capped off a 4-0 run from LMC to put the visitors up, 11-7 in the opening set.
However, BSU responded and tied it at 13 thanks to consecutive LMC attack errors.
The remainder of the set was a back-and-forth battle while Markle (York, Pa.) smashed a kill to knot it up at 18.
The Cardinals finished the set on a 7-1 run thanks to impress play from the front line.
Tied at nine in the second set, BSU ripped off a 7-0 run to create some breathing room, 17-10.
Senior duo Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) and Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) stuffed a Marcin Miemczewski kill attempt to shave the deficit to four, 23-19. The Cardinals responded with a kill and one of their 11 service aces to claim the set.
The third set was tightly-contested while neither team led by no more than two points for the duration.
Morrison banged down a kill to give LMC a small 18-16 lead.
The Bobcats staved off set and match point when Markle and Sheers delivered consecutive kills to knot it at 24, after trailing 24-22.
Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) got in the mix with a kill while the Bobcats fended off match point once again.
Harpenau cranked out a kill prior to a block from Cothron and Sheers to wrap up an intense third set, 29-27.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the final set. Sheers delivered the Bobcats last kill of the evening to make it 12-3. BSU used a 13-0 run to claim the set and the match.
Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) kept busy with a 17-dig performance while Ramirez dished out 26 assists.
The Bobcats return home for the first time in over a month to battle Mount Olive in Conference Carolinas action March 21 at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium. LMC is undefeated at home (4-0).
- LMC -