Bobcats drop pair of matches on day two of Carolina Challenge

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team battled to a pair of heartbreaking decisions on Saturday, falling in three sets to defending regional runner-up Flagler College before Tusculum College rallied to win three straight frames en route to a 3-1 win over the Bobcats in the nightcap.

Match One: Flagler 3, Lees-McRae 0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-17) - Box Score

Flagler (3-0) held the Bobcats (0-4) to a .011 hitting percentage, posting a .216 mark of its own on the attack and tallying 10 blocks. Taylor Emilee paced the Saints with 16 kills on 28 swings, posting a .429 hitting percentage. Olivia Snipes notched a match-high 26 assists, while Emilee, Dianna Craine, and Casey Gnann each posted a team-best seven digs.

Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) paced the Bobcats with nine kills, while Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) chipped in eight smashes and Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) added 22 assists. Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) also chipped in a match-high 15 digs for the Bobcats.

Match Two: Tusculum 3, Lees-McRae 1 (16-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-16) - Box Score

Tusculum overcame an early 1-0 deficit to defeat the Bobcats in the final match of the day, holding Lees-McRae to a .156 hitting percentage while recording nine blocks. Brianna Anderson paced the Pioneers with 14 kills, while Natalie Gaudreau, Sam Underwood, and Alyssa Raterman each tallied nine smashes. Ashley Sarmiento accounted for a double-double with 41 assists and 14 digs, while Caitlyn Dean posted 21 savers to pace the Pioneers.

Epperson led all players with 20 kills, posting a .279 hitting percentage and nearly accounting for a double-double with nine digs. Mitchell tallied a match-high 43 assists, while Dana Oliver recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Suryadevara also chipped in a match-high 25 digs for the Bobcats.

Lees-McRae returns to the court next Friday when the Bobcats travel to Greeneville, Tenn. for Tusculum's Fall Classic. The Bobcats are slated to take on the University of Montevallo at 11 a.m. and Lenoir-Rhyne University at 3 p.m. on the first day of the Classic in Pioneer Arena.

- LMC -