Women's Volleyball

Trojans rally past Bobcats in five-set thriller

Trojans rally past Bobcats in five-set thriller

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. --- Seniors Dana Oliver (Miami, Fla.) and Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) recorded 16 and 12 kills, respectively to lead the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team on Saturday afternoon as the Bobcats fell to Mount Olive College in a Conference Carolinas five-set thriller.

Mount Olive (7-8, 3-4 CC) won the match by scores of 22-25, 25-17, 26-28, 25-23, and 15-11, rallying from a 2-1 deficit in the match while posting a .275 hitting percentage. The Trojans held Lees-McRae (7-7, 4-3 CC) to a .169 attacking clip on the afternoon, as the Bobcats posted 51 digs and 18 service aces. Mount Olive recorded 69 digs and 61 kills in the contest to go along with eight blocks.

Oliver paced the Bobcats with a career-high 16 kills while nearly posting a double-double with nine digs. Clendenin added 12 kills and a .375 hitting percentage, while Taylor Pritchett (Apex, N.C.) chipped in 44 assists and tied a career-high with a contest-best eight service aces. Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) posted eight kills as Molly Corhn (Hendersonville, N.C.) recorded a career- and match-high 25 digs.

Sarah Robertson led the way for Mount Olive with a match-high 23 kills, while posting a .388 hitting percentage. Nicole Karas added a double-double with a contest-best 54 assists and 13 digs, as Carly White chipped in 15 kills and a .520 hitting percentage. Lauren Lee posted a team-high 24 digs for the Trojans.

Lees-McRae would rally from an early deficit in the first set, launching a 15-4 run to claim a 21-12 advantage in the frame following back-to-back kills by Angela Morse (Clinton Township, Mich.) and Oliver.

Mount Olive countered with a 7-0 run, cutting the margin to 21-19 on a solo block by White before the Bobcats answered with a pair of points to take a 23-19 advantage. After Mount Olive responded with back-to-back points, including a kill by Dezirae Mackey, Lees-McRae closed out the set on an Oliver smash to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Trojans responded in the second, taking an early 16-8 lead on back-to-back kills by White before pushing the margin to 20-12 on a Karas smash. After Lees-McRae trimmed the advantage to 21-15 on a Clendenin service ace, Mount Olive countered with a 4-2 spurt to close out the set on back-to-back kills by Ashlee Reuter to even the match at 1-1.

Mount Olive would carry the momentum into the third set, taking an early 12-8 lead before the Bobcats responded with a 7-0 run to claim a 15-12 advantage following a trio of aces by Pritchett. Lees-McRae pushed the margin to 20-16 before Mount Olive responded, launching a 7-2 run to take a 23-22 lead on a Mackey kill.

After the Trojans took a 24-23 lead following an LMC miscue, the Bobcats fought off a pair of set points at 24-23 and 26-25 before answering with a 3-0 spurt to claim the frame following an ace from Jordan Banta (Virginia Beach, Va.).

The Trojans countered in the fourth, taking an early 14-10 lead on a Robertson kill before the Bobcats claimed a 20-16 advantage on the heels of a 10-2 run that featured five kills by Clendenin.  After Clendenin pushed the margin to 23-18 with a kill and an ace, Mount Olive countered with a 7-0 surge to claim the set and push the match to a decisive fifth frame following a block by Mackey and Reuter.

Mount Olive carried the momentum into the fifth, taking a 9-6 advantage following a Bobcat miscue before Lees-McRae countered with a 5-2 spurt to even the tally at 11-11 on a Beatty kill. The Trojans answered with a 4-0 run, closing out the set and the match on a trio of kills from Robertson.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Tuesday when the Bobcats travel to Jefferson City, Tenn. to take on Carson-Newman College at 7 p.m.

- LMC -