BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) and Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) each tallied at least 12 kills and a.600 hitting percentage to lead the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to a straight-set sweep of Converse College in Conference Carolinas action on Friday night in Williams Gymnasium.
Lees-McRae (14-6, 9-0 CC) won the match in decisive fashion by scores of 25-13, 25-9, and 25-13, extending its winning streak to 12 contests overall and 40 consecutive victories in conference play. The Bobcats posted a blistering .403 hitting percentage on the night, while limiting Converse (2-13, 1-9 CC) to a -.203 clip on the attack. Lees-McRae posted nine service aces and seven blocks on the night, while holding the Valkyries to just nine kills over three sets.
Epperson paced the Bobcats with 13 kills on 21 swings, posting a .619 hitting percentage with no errors, while tallying a match-high four service aces. Clendenin finished the match with 12 kills and a .647 hitting percentage, as freshman Laura Thomas (Broadway, N.C.) chipped in seven smashes of her own.
Rookies Taylor Prichett (Apex, N.C.) and Sariah Surydevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) chipped in match-highs of 24 assists and nine digs, respectively, as Pritchett, Jessica Singewald (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), and Kallai Johnston (Statesville, N.C.) each posted a contest-best two blocks.
Lees-McRae got off to a hot start in the first set, opening an early 14-4 lead on a Clendenin kill that capped a run that included four aces by Epperson. The Bobcats continued to dictate proceedings with an 8-1 run, claiming a 21-9 margin following three consecutive kills from Clendenin as the junior outside hitter tallied eight smashes in the first set. Johnston delivered the frame's decisive spike following a 5-2 spurt by the Valkyries, closing out the 25-13 first-set win for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats took a 10-5 lead on Clendenin's 10th kill of the match early in the second set, and after Converse trimmed the margin to 11-6, Lees-McRae responded with an 11-1 run to claim a 22-7 advantage on a Thomas smash. Lees-McRae then closed out the 25-9 victory on a Clendenin kill.
Converse kept it close early in the third set, trimming the margin to 10-7 after the Bobcats opened the frame with a 6-0 run. The Bobcats reclaimed the momentum with a 9-4 run, taking a 19-11 lead on back-to-back kills by Thomas before closing out the set and the match on a Johnston kill to cap a 6-1 spurt.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday afternoon when the Bobcats host Erskine College in conference play at 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -