Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team will close out the month of March with a pair of matches this week. The Bobcats will head to Charlotte Wednesday to take on Queens University for a non-conference tilt. LMC will then return to conference play Thursday when it heads down to Limestone. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Last Time Out – The Bobcats dropped a pair of 3-0 decisions on the road at Emmanuel and Erskine last weekend. The losses move Lees-McRae's record to 2-17 overall and 0-11 in Conference Carolinas play in 2018.
Closing out the road schedule – These two matches this week will be the final road matches for the team during the regular season. LMC will wrap up the 2018 regular season with four straight matches at home in the month of April against North Greenville (April 4), Mount Olive (April 6), Barton (April 7) and Erskine (April 13).
Freshmen in conference's top 10 lists – Freshmen Joseph Valadez and Ethan Gardner both rank in the top 10 among Conference Carolinas players in assists and blocks, respectively. Valadez is ninth in assists with 335, while Gardner is ninth in total blocks with 52. Additionally, Gardner is fifth in solo blocks with 15 on the season.
About the Opponents – Despite being in its first season of men's volleyball, the Royals have been competitive in 2018. Queens is 5-17 overall and 3-6 on its home floor. Leading the way for the Royals is Gregory Esquivel, who was named Off the Block's Independent Player of the Week on Monday.
Limestone, meanwhile, is 7-16 in 2018 and 4-9 in conference action. The Saints are coming off back-to-back 3-0 losses to Mount Olive and Barton on the road. An aspect to watch for Limestone Thursday will be its balanced attack. The Saints have four different players that have 100 or more kills this spring, including a team-high 218 kills by Anthony Savage.
Series Rewind – The Bobcats have seen both Queens and Limestone this season with both meetings coming in Banner Elk. LMC fell to the Royals in four sets on February 8, while the Saints also clipped the Bobcats in four frames on February 17. Overall, the Bobcats are 7-10 all-time against Limestone.