October 11, 2011

Clendenin powers Bobcat rally past King in four-setter

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Junior Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) posted a season-high 19 kills and a scorching .654 hitting percentage to lead the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over King College in Conference Carolinas play on Tuesday night in Williams Gymnasium.

Lees-McRae (16-6, 11-0 CC) won the match by scores of 21-25, 25-12, 25-18, and 25-14, extending its winning streak to 14 contests overall and 42 straight victories in league play, while sweeping the season series against King (11-11, 5-4 CC). The Bobcats posted a combined .328 hitting percentage on the night, holding King to a .117 clip on the attack while registering seven blocks and 54 digs.

Clendenin led all hitters with 19 kills on 26 swings, posting a season-high .654 hitting percentage while also notching a double-double with 10 digs. Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) chipped in 13 kills and a match-high five service aces, while Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) nearly posted a triple-double with 11 kills, eight digs, and seven assists. Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) nearly recorded a double-double of her own with 38 assists and nine digs, while Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Jessica Singewald (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) chipped in match-highs of 14 digs and four blocks, respectively.

Ashley Pittman paced the Tornado with nine kills, while Sarah Van Goethem nearly accounted for a double-double with 12 digs and eight kills. Jessica Hammond added eight digs, while Shannon Earwood chipped in 19 assists and three blocks. Mariah Herington also posted a match-high four blocks.

The Bobcats got off to a strong start in the first set, opening an early 7-2 lead on a block by Epperson and Singewald before King responded, launching a 15-9 run to claim a 17-16 lead on a block by Herington and Kelsey Griffitts. King held on from there, closing out the frame with an 8-5 spurt to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

Lees-McRae answered in the second set, opening the frame with an 11-5 run that was capped by a Clendenin smash. After King countered with two of the next three points, the Bobcats responded with an 8-2 run, claiming a 20-9 lead on another kill from Clendenin. Lees-McRae then closed out the set with a 5-3 spurt to even the tally at 1-1 following back-to-back smashes by Singewald.

The Bobcats carried the momentum into the third set, taking an early 10-5 lead on an Oliver kill. King would cut the lead to 12-10 before the Bobcats responded, launching an 8-2 run to open a 20-12 lead on a smash by Clendenin. The Tornado answered with a spurt of their own, trimming the margin to 22-17 with a 5-2 run before the Bobcats answered with a 3-1 surge to close out the set on a kill by Epperson.

The fourth set proved to be a tightly contested affair in the early going until, with the score knotted at 11-11, the Bobcats went on a 12-1 run to take a commanding 23-12 lead in the frame following Epperson's fifth ace of the match. Lees-McRae then closed out the set and the match on Clendenin's 19th kill of the night to give the Bobcats the 25-14 victory in the fourth frame.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday when the Bobcats host Queens University of Charlotte in a pivotal conference clash at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.

- LMC -