Bobcats Split in Season Opening Matches

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. - Outside hitter Colin Kelly led the Lees-McRae Bobcats to a split in their opening matches of the 2009 season with win over Grand Canyon and a loss to Mount Olive. Both matches went to five sets.


Lees-McRae opened the day with a 3-2 (30-12, 23-30, 28-30, 30-25, 15-12) win over Grand Canyon.

Kelly led the Bobcats with 20 kills, while Robert Ritchie tallied 14 digs. Juan Ramirez chipped in with 53 assists, and Ryan Black had 12 kills and six blocks.

In match two, against Mount Olive the Bobcats fell 3-2 (27-31, 33-31-33, 30-19, 25-30, 8-15).

The Trojans went up 2-0 on a Guerci kill. Lees-McRae (1-1) stayed within striking distance and tied the score up at 19 on a kill from Black and going up 20-19 on Chad Mercado's kill. Lanier's kill tied the score up at 20, and Penate's kill put the Trojans up 26-25 to stay.

Lees-McRae took an early lead on a kill from Kelly, but the Trojans held in there, pulling within one at 14-15 on kill and a block from Carroll. Kills from Lanier tied the score up at 21 and a clutch kills from Garcia and Penate gave the Trojans set point, but Lees-McRae weathered the storm to take the set.

The Bobcats opened up the set on a 6-0 run that was doused by Hoekstra's fake-assist kill. A pair of kills by Lanier held the lead to five, but that's as close as it got as kills from Black and Kelly propelled Lees-McRae to win the set.

Lees-McRae jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Mount Olive rallied back to tie the set at six on Penate's kill. The lead switched back and forth as the Trojans went up 13-11 on a Guerci kill but the Bobcats went on a 4-0 run to take the lead 15-13. Garcia's two kills put Mount Olive up 21-20 to force a fifth set.

Mount Olive went down early as Kelly's kill gave the Bobcats a 1-0 lead. Then the Trojans came charging as a double block from Garcia and Carroll sparked an 8-2 run, capped off by a diving dig by Garcia that kept play alive leading to a solo block from Hoekstra to put Mount Olive up 12-4. Lees-McRae didn't give up, going on a 4-0 run but the Trojans ended the match as the Bobcats tried to block a Trojan kill attempt, which rolled across the net landing out of bounds on Lees-McRae.

Penate tallied 19 kills and nine digs, while Lanier had 14 kills. Garcia added 10 kills, nine digs and four blocks.

Kelly led Lees-McRae with 23 kills, while Raphael Vieira recorded 18 digs.

2009 Season Stats