Photo Courtesy of Katie Jo Daniel
BANNER ELK, N.C. – After a season away, the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team will make its return to postseason play Tuesday night as it travels to Emmanuel to compete in the opening round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. First serve is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Last Time Out – Lees-McRae wrapped up its regular season last Saturday at Mount Olive. Despite a career-high 41 digs from libero Allie Cunningham, the Bobcats dropped a five-set decision to the Trojans. The loss put a cap on LMC's regular season record at 7-22 overall and 3-11 in league action.
Pumped for the Postseason – As mentioned earlier, the Bobcats did not make the conference tournament field a season ago. Historically, Lees-McRae has enjoyed quite a bit of success at the league's showcase for women's volleyball. Since 1998, the Bobcats have captured 13 conference tournament championships, which is the most of any school in the conference.
About the Tournament Field – All four of the tournament's quarterfinal matches will take place Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the matchup between Lees-McRae and Emmanuel, the other first round matchups include: Southern Wesleyan at Belmont Abbey, Limestone at Barton and King at North Greenville. The four winners of these matches will matchup on November 10-11 for the semifinals and finals at the site of the highest remaining seed.
About Emmanuel – Emmanuel has made quite a splash in its first season as an official member of the Conference Carolinas. The Lions won the league's regular season title finishing with a 14-1 record in conference on top of a 20-8 record overall. Additionally, the Lions are riding a 10-match winning streak heading into the conference tournament. EC's last loss came on October 2 at Augusta.
As their record would indicate, the Lions have had several standout players on the court this fall. The trio of Julie de Blanck, Jessica Gray and Aysha Avery are arguably Emmanuel's best players. The duo of de Blanck and Gray both rank in the top five in the conference in kills and kills per set. Avery, meanwhile, paced Conference Carolinas in digs per set (5.06) and finished second in the league with 471 digs.
Series Rewind – After Lees-McRae won the first three matches against Emmanuel in the all-time series, the Lions have notched back-to-back victories against LMC. The lone matchup between the two programs this season went to Emmanuel by a 3-0 final score.