Photo Courtesy of Katie Jo Daniel
DUE WEST, S.C. – After dropping the first two sets of its match at Erskine Friday night (25-15, 25-13), the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team mounted a rally to win the third set 25-22. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the Flying Fleet won the fourth set 25-22 to finish off the four-set win. With the loss, LMC moves to 3-13 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Set 1 – The opening stanza of Friday's match belonged to the Flying Fleet. Erskine's offense rarely misfired on its way to hitting .424 on 33 attacks with 15 kills in the first. LMC did its best to keep up hitting .233 for the stanza, but the Flying Fleet held serve for the majority of the set on their way to a 25-15 victory.
Set 2 – Erskine's offense cooled off considerably in the second, but so did Lees-McRae's. LMC committed more attack errors than kills in the second (five to four). The momentum swung in Erskine's favor when the Flying Fleet led 7-6. After that point, Erskine rattled off a 6-0 run to extend its lead to 13-6. The seven-point deficit proved too large for LMC to dig out of as it dropped the frame, 25-13.
Set 3 – Facing a three-set defeat, the Bobcats were able to keep the score close in the third. LMC's tough play was rewarded as it was able to put together a 5-0 run to gain a 22-17 lead on Erskine late in the set. The Flying Fleet made a late charge to get the score back to 23-21, but Lees-McRae picked up two of the last three points to force a fourth set, 25-22.
Set 4 – In what proved to be the final set of Friday's match, the Bobcats looked like they may force a tie-breaking fifth frame. LMC got out to a quick 5-0 lead to put the pressure back on Erskine. Erskine responded, however, as it not only tied the score later in the fourth but it also took the lead. The pendulum of momentum seemed to swing at the 17-13 mark when Erskine vaulted ahead of LMC thanks to a 7-0 run. Trailing by three points, Lees-McRae was able to trim the deficit to one at 23-22, but Erskine netted back-to-back points to finish off the match, 25-22.
Stat Standouts – The statistical strength of LMC's effort Friday came defensively. The Bobcat defense was able to pick up seven more digs than Erskine (70-63). A major reason for this can be traced to the quartet of Caitlyn Smirne, Allie Cunningham, Megan Gallion and Lexi Zangari. Smirne led the way matching a career-high with 17 digs on the night. Cunningham had her fifth straight double figure dig performance with 13 digs. Gallion and Zangari, meanwhile, were not far behind those totals with 14 and 11, respectively. Additionally, Gallion and Zangari also finished with double-doubles. Gallion also dished out 33 assists on top of her 14 digs, while Zangari led LMC with 11 kills to go along with her dig totals.
Next Up – The Bobcats will be back in action Saturday afternoon for another Conference Carolinas matchup at Emmanuel. The first serve between the Bobcats and Lions is set for 2 p.m.