Balanced attack lifts Bobcats over Abbey, 3-0

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Four players tallied at least eight kills to lead a balanced attack as the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team pushed its winning streak to 10 matches with a straight-set victory over Belmont Abbey College on Saturday afternoon in Conference Carolinas play.

Lees-McRae (12-6, 7-0 CC) won the match by scores of 25-17, 25-14, and 25-14 as the Bobcats held the Abbey (8-8, 4-3 CC) to a .032 hitting percentage while posting a .260 attacking clip of their own.

Junior Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) paced the Bobcats with 10 kills, as Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.), Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.), and Lauren Fox (Garland, Texas) each tallied eight smashes. Freshman libero Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) shined once again, posted a match-high 17 digs as Epperson chipped in with 11 savers of her own. Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) chipped in 29 assists, seven digs, five kills, and a match-high two aces, as Oliver and Clendenin added two aces of their own.

Stefanie Holler led the way for Belmont Abbey with five kills, as Angela Jubb and Ginny Eckstine each chipped in four smashes. Lydia Schellenberg chipped in 16 digs, as Kay Schellenberg added 12 assists.

The Bobcats opened an early 12-7 lead in the first set on a Clendenin service ace, and after the Abbey trimmed the margin to 13-12, Lees-McRae answered with a 6-1 run to claim a 19-13 advantage on an emphatic kill from Clendenin. Belmont Abbey closed the gap to 21-17 with a 3-2 spurt before the Bobcats took the set on a Clendenin kill to cap a 4-0 run.

Lees-McRae carried the momentum into the second set, launching a 13-4 run to take a 20-9 lead on an Oliver smash. After the Abbey cut into the margin with a quick 3-0 spurt, the Bobcats shut the door with a 5-2 run to close out the set on a well-placed dump from Mitchell.

Belmont Abbey kept it close early in the third frame, cutting the margin to 13-10 on back-to-back Bobcat miscues before Lees-McRae responded, launching a 5-1 spurt to stretch the lead to 18-11 on a kill by Kallai Johnston (Statesville, N.C.). The Bobcats maintained the margin for duration of the set, closing out the frame and the match on a kill by Fox.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Gaffney, S.C. to take on Limestone College in a conference matchup at 7 p.m.

- LMC -