Photo Courtesy of Gerry Wall
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team will close out the month of September with three matches this week. LMC will begin the week by hosting Shaw University Tuesday night at Williams Gymnasium before heading out on a two-match road swing to Erskine and Emmanuel on Friday and Saturday. Tuesday's and Friday's matches are set to begin at 7 p.m., while Saturday's is scheduled to get underway at 2 p.m.
Last Time Out – Lees-McRae played its first home match of the season last Saturday against conference foe Barton. The Bobcats battled the defending conference champions but ultimately fell in three sets (25-22, 25-19, 26-24). The loss moves LMC's record to 3-11 overall and 0-1 in league action.
Improved Accuracy – The Bobcats have seen an increase in their hitting accuracy from a season ago. In 2017, LMC attacked at a .123 clip in 25 matches. This season the Bobcats have boosted their hitting percentage by over 40 percentage points checking in at .168 as a team. That mark puts the Bobcats third in the conference ranking only behind Emmanuel (.226) and King (.178).
Defending the Den – LMC has fared well recently in non-conference matches played in Banner Elk. Over the past two seasons the Bobcats are 4-1 in such matches, including a 2-1 mark last season.
Familiar Face for the Flying Fleet – When the Bobcats visit Erskine Friday night, there will be a familiar face for the Flying Fleet on the Bobcat bench. LMC Head Coach Caitlin Bullock played for Erskine from 2011-2014. Bullock was an All-Conference and All-Region player during her senior season at Erskine. Additionally, she helped the Fleet win a conference championship and make its first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
About the Opponents – Two of the three teams the Bobcats will face this week boast winning records so far this fall. Shaw checks in with a record of 8-6, while Conference Carolinas rivals Erskine and Emmanuel come into the week with records of 4-10 and 9-6, respectively.
Shaw is led by the tandem of Keveesha Wattley and Saraya Klink who both have 100 or more kills in 2018. Erskine, meanwhile, has rebounded somewhat after starting the season 1-10 to reel off three straight wins over Bob Jones, North Greenville and Southern Wesleyan. Lastly, the Lions of Emmanuel are led by attackers Julie de Blanck and Jessica Gray. Both of these players rank in the top five within the conference in both kills and kills per set.
Series Histories vs. Opponents – Overall, the Bobcats have fared well historically against their three opponents this week. Collectively, Lees-McRae is 13-10 against Shaw, Erskine and Emmanuel since 2005. In 2017, the Bobcats went 1-2 against those three programs.