Photo Courtesy of Gerry Wall
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team will be back in action with two matches at Williams Gymnasium this week. LMC will open the week by hosting UVa-Wise Tuesday night at 6 p.m. before returning to conference play Friday when it welcomes Mount Olive to Banner Elk for a 7 p.m. contest.
Last Time Out – The Bobcats picked up their first league win of the season Saturday afternoon against Southern Wesleyan. LMC won the first two sets (25-15, 25-10) before SWU rallied to win the third (26-24), but the Bobcats were able to close things out in the fourth (26-24). The victory moved LMC's record to 4-16 overall and 1-5 in conference play.
Setting Career-Highs – A major reason for Lees-McRae's success on Saturday was because of three standout performances. Logan Slusher racked up a career-high 17 kills in the win on 32 attacks. Setting up Slusher and the rest of the Bobcat offense was Megan Gallion, who set a new personal best with 51 assists Saturday. Defensively, Allie Cunningham also had a career day against the Warriors totaling 24 digs in the four-set contest.
Player to Watch – A player to watch for the Bobcats this week is Ellissa Small. When LMC took on UVa-Wise earlier this season, Small led the team posting a double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs. Small, who is currently second on the team with 111 kills, has also had success against Mount Olive in her career as a Bobcat. The last time LMC and UMO matched up was in the regular season finale in 2017, and Small led the Bobcats to a 3-0 sweep of the Trojans thanks to a 13-kill afternoon.
About the Opponents – UVa-Wise enters Tuesday's tilt in Banner Elk with a record of 4-14. The Cavaliers have beaten Bluefield State twice, LMC and Glenville State so far in 2018. UVa-Wise is led by the trio of Brooke Abbott, Madelyn Lawerence and Matelyn Gibson. All three players have totaled over 100 kills this season.
Mount Olive, meanwhile, comes into the week with a record of 3-13 and 0-5 in conference play. UMO is coming off back-to-back 3-0 losses to Converse and Limestone over the weekend on the road. Individually, Ania Keene has led Mount Olive's offense this fall as she paces the team with 113 kills.
Series Histories vs. Opponents – Lees-McRae will be no stranger to either UVa-Wise or Mount Olive this week. Since 2013, LMC and UVa-Wise have played six times with each team picking up three wins. As for the series against Mount Olive, the Bobcats have won 16 of the 27 matchups between the two schools since 2005.