Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team battled but ultimately fell to Belmont Abbey in five sets (23-25, 27-25, 27-25, 22-25, 13-15) Wednesday night in Conference Carolinas action at Williams Gymnasium. The loss pushes Lees-McRae's 2019 record to 1-5 overall and 0-3 in league action.
Set 1 – Neither team could gain much momentum in the opening set of Wednesday's match as both squads struggled from the service line. Belmont Abbey and Lees-McRae combined for 14 service errors in the first. With the neither team serving well, the opening stanza was decided on the block and efficiency on the attack. The Crusaders won that battle out-hitting the Bobcats .304 to .200 in the frame to go along with an edge on the block three to one. These two factors led to a 25-23 win for the Crusaders.
Set 2 – The Bobcats rectified their miscues somewhat in the second frame hitting .304 as a team to go along with five blocks. With things clicking offensively and defensively, the Bobcats led Belmont Abbey by as many as five points in the frame. Credit to the Crusaders as they clawed back to tie the score at 23 and then again at 24 and 25. Lees-McRae, however, would persevere with a kill and a block to even the match at a set a piece.
Set 3 – To say the two teams struggled offensively in the third would be an understatement. Belmont Abbey hit -.172, while the Bobcats attacked at a -.074 clip. With both teams scratching to score points, the Bobcats turned to their defense with six blocks in the third. Even with Lees-McRae's blocking efforts the score was once again tied at 25 all before back-to-back Bobcat points sealed the frame, 27-25.
Set 4 – Facing a 2-1 deficit, the Crusaders rebounded in the fourth. As a team, Belmont Abbey attacked at a .280 clip to go along with four aces. The Bobcats, meanwhile, were even more efficient hitting a match-high .333. Even with the Bobcat offense clicking, Belmont Abbey went on a 3-0 run to close out the fourth and force a fifth set, 25-22.
Set 5 – In the fifth and final set, Belmont Abbey turned to Liam Maxwell to finish off the match. Maxwell accounted for eight kills on 12 attacks with no errors to power his team to a 15-13 win in deciding set.
Stat standouts – The Bobcats were led statistically Wednesday by senior Hector Serviat. The senior from Miami, Florida totaled a career-high 18 kills on 37 attacks. Setting Serviat up was freshman Nick Cookingham, who finished with 38 assists. Rounding out the stat leaders for Lees-McRae was Drew Sims. Sims totaled nine kills, five digs and team-high four-and-a-half blocks in the five-set contest.
Next up – Lees-McRae will hit the road for just the second time this season on Friday when it visits Emmanuel for a Conference Carolinas matchup. First serve between the Bobcats and Lions is set for 7 p.m.