GREENWOOD, S.C. --- Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) posted a double-double with a match-high 17 kills and 11 digs to become the program's all-time leader in kills, leading the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Augusta State University on Friday evening at the Lander University Crossover Tournament.
Lees-McRae (20-6) extended its winning streak to 17 matches, posting a .151 hitting percentage while recording 79 digs and seven blocks. The Bobcats held Augusta State (12-14) to a .090 hitting percentage, as the Jaguars recorded 12 blocks and 71 digs.
Epperson became the program's all-time kill leader with her 1,355th career smash, surpassing Whitney Justice's previous mark of 1,347 kills. Junior setter Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) nearly recorded a triple-double with 37 assists, 11 digs, and nine kills, becoming the first player in program history to surpass the 3,000-assist plateau. Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) also tallied a double-double with 11 kills and 16 digs, as Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) dug out a match-high 26 Jaguar attacks.
Alex Rohlfing paced the Jaguars with a match-high 17 kills while posting a .292 hitting percentage. Krystin Wahlig added a double-double with 24 assists and 18 digs, while Collette Richards dug out a team-high 21 Bobcat attacks. Lauren Alverson also chipped in 12 digs for Augusta State.
The Bobcats rallied from an 11-8 deficit in the first set, launching an 11-6 run to take a 19-17 lead on back-to-back kills by Epperson. Augusta responded with a 4-2 spurt, evening the tally at 21-21 before the Bobcats answered with a 4-1 run to close out the 25-22 first-set win on an emphatic kill by Clendenin.
Augusta State answered in the second set, taking an early 10-4 lead on a block by Rohlfing and Jessica Hansen. The Jaguars would stretch the lead to 15-8 before the Bobcats responded; cutting the margin to 18-14 with a 6-3 spurt that was capped by a solo block from Kallai Johnston. Augusta State answered with a 6-2 run, claiming a 24-16 lead on a Bobcat miscue before closing out the frame on an LMC attacking error.
The Bobcats battled back in the third frame, taking an early 13-8 lead on a Mitchell service ace. Lees-McRae would push the margin to 20-14 on a block by Epperson and Jessica Singewald (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) before closing out the set on a Jaguar miscue to take a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-19 third-frame win.
Lees-McRae rallied from an early 6-1 deficit in the fourth set, taking a 13-12 lead on back-to-back blocks by Epperson and Singewald. The Bobcats would push the margin to 22-18 on a Jaguar miscue and after Augusta State answered with a quick 2-1 spurt, closed out the set and the match on an Epperson kill and a Jaguar miscue.
The Bobcats return to the court later Friday evening when they take on No. 16 and undefeated Armstrong Atlantic State University at 7 p.m. in the PEES Complex on the Lander campus.
- LMC -