BANNER ELK, N.C. -- The Lees-McRae men's volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 (30-32, 31-29, 23-30, 33-31, 15-13) loss to the Grand Canyon Lopes Saturday in a nonconference match in Williams Gymnasium.
The Bobcats won the first set 32-30, but the Lopes responded to tie the match at one all with a 31-29 set two win. Again, Lees-McRae took the lead with a 30-23 set three win, but Grand Canyon stepped up and pulled out a thrilling 33-31 set four win to force the deciding set five.
In set five, the Lopes were the first team to hit eight points and force the teams to change sides and pushed the lead to 11-8. However, the Bobcats battled back to tie the match at 11, but couldn't take the lead as they fell 15-13.
Chad Mercado paced the Bobcats with 28 kills, and he added 15 digs. Raphael Vieira added 14 kills and 12 digs. Juan Ramirez handed out 50 assists and notched a team-high 26 digs. Defensively, the Bobcats had five players in double digit digs as Kyle Gauger added 13 digs, and Just Tevid added 12 digs. Vieira also led the team with six total blocks followed by Eric Jackson and Steven Bunning, who had five total blocks apiece.
For the Lopes, Brock Hutchins had 22 kills, a .333 hitting percentage and 13 digs in the match. Tyler Capko added 18 kills, and Nick Jensen and Taylor Griffin had 14 kills apiece. Brad Moore passed out 67 assists and had ten digs. Defensively, Trent Bruns had a match-high 28 digs.
Lees-McRae will travel to King College March 23rd for their next match.