BANNER ELK, N.C. – After five straight non-conference matches to begin its 2017 season, the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team will open Conference Carolinas play this weekend when it travels to Southern Wesleyan Friday and North Greenville Saturday. Friday's first serve is slated for 7 p.m., while Saturday's match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Last Time Out – The Bobcats opened their home schedule last Tuesday at Williams Gymnasium with a tilt against Fayetteville State. FSU ended up defeating the Bobcats in three sets (25-21, 25-21, 25-20), which dropped Lees-McRae's record to 0-5 on the season.
Hitting Here Mark – Lexi Zangari currently paces Lees-McRae with a .282 hitting percentage on the season. Zangari's hitting percentage mark ranks third among Conference Carolinas players with only Belmont Abbey's Andie Meredith (.298) and Emmanuel's Guro Key Froeberg (.297) having higher hitting percentages in the league than Zangari.
Conquering Conference Openers – Friday will mark the first conference match of the season for Lees-McRae. The Bobcats will look to keep a streak of stellar play going in league openers as they have not started conference play with a loss since 2013.
About Southern Wesleyan – After dropping four of its first six matches of the season, Southern Wesleyan has rebounded to win three straight matches entering Friday's contest against the Bobcats. SWU is led by the duo of Paige O'Connor and Olivia Johnson. O'Connor and Johnson rank second and third in the conference with 112 and 110 kills, respectively.
About North Greenville – Much like Southern Wesleyan, North Greenville has turned things around after struggling in the early part of its 2017 campaign. NGU has gone 4-1 in its past five matches, including a four-set victory over Converse on Tuesday. The Crusaders have one of the most efficient offenses in the league so far this season as it paces the conference in team hitting percentage (.181) and kills per set (12.72).
Series Histories against Opponents – The Bobcats have not defeated Southern Wesleyan since SWU joined the league in 2014. In the series against NGU, meanwhile, the Bobcats have a record of 4-6 since their first meeting in 2011. North Greenville has won the last two meetings between the two schools with LMC's last win coming in 2014.