The Lees-McRae Bobcats men's volleyball team opened the 2007 season with a 3-1 win, (30-21, 30-27, 26-30, 31-29), over Eastern Mennonite University Saturday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium. EMU entered the game ranked 10th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division III poll.
Each game was tightly contested, with neither team managing to string together any large runs and pull away. Last season, the teams set an NCAA record for the most points scored in one match (287), a five game marathon won by the Bobcats. Lees-McRae won the deciding fifth game, played to 15, by the necessary two points 31-29. The fourth and deciding game this afternoon saw neither team pull ahead more than two points.
Justin Harris and Justin Wozniel led the Bobcats attack with 16 and 11 kills respectively. Freshman Grant Cassell and Stephen McDaniel each contributed nine kills respectively in their first collegiate action. Senior setter controlled traffic up front with 36 assists while classmate Elias Valentin took care of the back court, as he was credited with 28 digs. Wozniel, had 15 digs of his own, while Andrew Walton contributed five.
The Bobcats will go for two straight over nationally ranked teams, traveling to George Mason University next weekend for a 2:00pm contest Saturday afternoon. GMU is ranked 15th in the AVCA NCAA Division I/II poll.