BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team gave league-leading Barton College all it could handle Friday evening at Williams Gymnasium. The Bobcats held leads in two of the three frames but dropped each of them to the Bulldogs by scores of 25-21, 25-23 and 25-22.
Set 1: The Bobcats opened up a six point lead on the Bulldogs in the early stages of the first set at 12-6. Barton, however, battled back scoring seven of the next eight points to tie the score at 13-13. LMC traded points with Barton until the Bulldogs went on an 8-4 run to close the set out, 25-21.
Set 2: Barton kept Lees-McRae's offense in check in the second set as the Bobcats hit .000 on 34 attempts. LMC used defense to keep pace with Barton totaling five blocks in the second alone. Whitley Starnes and Kaci Thornton paced these efforts with three block assists each. Despite the effort from the Bobcat defense, the Bulldogs were able to edge out a win, 25-23.
Set 3: Unlike in the second set, the Bobcats and Bulldogs both had things rolling offensively. Barton hit .311 with 20 kills, while LMC hit .229 with 11 kills. Lees-McRae had the score tied at 21-21 but Barton scored four of the next five points to finish off the sweep, 25-22.
Stat Standouts: The duo of Ellissa Small and Kaci Thornton paced LMC's offense with nine kills each. In addition to her work offensively, Thornton also finished with six block assists. Seniors Starnes, Madison Martin and Johnaliz Cotte also had solid outings defensively for the Bobcats. Starnes matched Thornton's block totals with six assists of her own, while Martin posted 13 digs and Cotte added 12 digs as well.
Next Up: Lees-McRae, now 6-18 this fall, will close out its season Saturday afternoon when it hosts Mount Olive at Williams Gymnasium. Prior to the match, the team will honor its senior class. First serve is set for 2 p.m.