September 13, 2011

Clendenin, Bobcats cruise past Valkyries

Box score

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- Junior Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) posted a double-double with a match-high 12 kills and 10 digs on Tuesday night, leading the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to a three-set sweep of Converse College in the Bobcats' first Conference Carolinas contest of the season.

Lees-McRae (3-6, 1-0 CC) swept the match by scores of 25-10, 25-13, and 25-12 en route to its first three-set win of the season behind a dominating performance by Clendenin, just hours after she was named the Conference Carolinas Player of the Week for the first time in her career. The Bobcats posted a blistering .400 hitting percentage on the night, while holding the Valkyries (1-4, 0-1 CC) to a -.038 clip on the attack.

Clendenin posted 12 kills and a scorching .556 hitting percentage on just 18 swings, while also notching 10 digs and three blocks to pace the Bobcats. Senior Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) chipped in 11 kills and a .333 attacking clip, while Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) and freshman setter Taylor Pritchett (Apex, N.C.) posted 19 and 14 assists, respectively. Pritchett also chipped in four service aces, while libero Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted match-highs of 12 digs and six aces.

The Bobcats set the tone early, jumping out to a 15-6 lead in the first set on back-to-back kills by Clendenin. After Converse took two of the net three points, Lees-McRae launched a 9-2 run to close out the frame on a kill by Jessica Singewald (Port St. Lucie, Fla.).

Lees-McRae continued to dictate play in the second set, opening a 12-5 advantage on a well-placed dump by Mitchell. Following a 5-3 spurt by the Valkyries, the Bobcats regained control with a 10-3 run of their own to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match on back-to-back aces by Pritchett.

The Bobcats carried the momentum into the third, taking an early 9-0 lead before Converse responded with a 5-1 run to cut the margin to 10-5. Lees-McRae weathered the storm over the next several rallies, trading points with the Valkyries until freshman Laura Thomas (Broadway, N.C.) sparked a 6-0 match-ending run with a kill.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday when the Bobcats host Mount Olive College in a conference matchup at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.

- LMC -