Bobcats rally past Bears, 3-1

Box score

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team won its second match of the day in come-from-behind fashion on Friday, rallying past Lenoir-Rhyne University in four sets behind double-doubles from Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) and Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.).

Lees-McRae (2-4) won the match by scores of 22-25, 25-16, 25-19, and 25-23 while posting a .281 hitting percentage to go along with 71 digs. The Bobcats held Lenoir-Rhyne (3-3) to a .097 clip on the attack, as the Bears tallied seven blocks and 56 digs.

Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) tallied a match-high 17 kills to pace the Bobcats, while Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) and Epperson posted 13 and 12 kills, respectively. Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) added a match-high 27 digs, while Mitchell chipped in a double-double with a contest-best 45 assists and 11 digs.

Haley Rhyne paced Lenoir-Rhyne with 11 kills, while Cayla Crawley chipped in a team-high 13 digs. Meredith Lutz added 16 assists and eight digs, as Kaitlyn Burton chipped in 15 helpers.

The opening set was a tightly contested affair, with neither team holding more than a four-point advantage for the duration of the frame. Lees-McRae took a 14-12 lead midway through the set on a Bear error before pushing the margin to 17-13 on a Suryadevara service ace.

Lenoir-Rhyne answered with a 6-4 run, trimming the margin to 21-19 on a block by Joanna Whitmire and Brittany Toffan. After the Bobcats answered with two points of their own, the Bears closed out the set with a 6-0 run to take an early 1-0 advantage in the match.

The Bobcats responded in the second, taking an early 14-7 lead on a Suryadevara service ace before pushing the margin to 19-11 on an Oliver kill. After the Bears trimmed the margin to 19-14 on a block by Whitmire and Toffan, the Bobcats answered with a 6-2 run to close out the set on an Epperson smash.

Lees-McRae carried the momentum into the third set, opening an early 14-9 advantage before stretching the margin to 17-11 on an Oliver kill. After the Bears cut the lead to 23-18 on a Rhyne kill, the Bobcats responded with two of the next three points, closing out the frame on an Epperson kill.

The fourth set proved to be a tightly contested affair, with Lenoir-Rhyne claiming a narrow 15-13 advantage on a kill by Chelsea Hill before the Bobcats responded, launching a 5-0 run to claim an 18-15 lead on back-to-back kills by Epperson. After the Bears rallied to take a 23-21 lead, the Bobcats answered with a 4-0 run to claim the set and the match on a Lenoir-Rhyne miscue.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday at the Tusculum Fall Classic when the Bobcats take on Francis Marion University at 1 p.m., before squaring off against host Tusculum at 5 p.m. in Pioneer Arena.

- LMC -