Bobcats ranked ninth in the nation in aces

INDIANAPOLIS --- The Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team, fresh off an impressive 3-1 week against some imposing foes, is ranked ninth in the nation service aces per set, announced NCAA officials Tuesday with the release of this week's NCAA Division I men's volleyball statistics.

Lees-McRae (8-7, 2-1 CC) put together a 3-1 worksheet last week, rallying from a 2-0 deficit against Limestone on Wednesday, before sweeping Washington Adventist and NCAA Division I foe New Jersey Institute of Technology on Thursday and Friday. The Bobcats then carried a four-match winning streak into Saturday's pivotal matchup with No. 11 Penn State University and did not disappoint, winning the first frame and nearly upsetting the Nittany Lions in a five-set thriller.

The Bobcats enter the week ranked ninth in aces per set (1.4), 19th in digs per frame (7.83), and 20th in hitting percentage (0.268). Lees-McRae is also ranked 22nd in assists per set (11.13) and winning percentage (0.533), while being listed 23rd in kills per frame (11.96) and 27th in blocks per set (2.06).

Senior opposite Chad Mercado (Orlando, Fla.) continued his impressive start to the season, tallying 54 kills and a .303 hitting percentage for the week to move up to fourth in the nation in kills per set (4.68). Mercado is also ranked 22nd in hitting percentage (0.322), and 50th in digs per set (1.55).

Freshman setter Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) is ranked 18th in assists per set this week with an average of 10.27 helpers per frame, while also being listed 32nd in aces per set (0.31). Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) and John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) are both ranked in blocks per set, entering the week listed 42nd (0.87) and 48th (0.83), respectively. Lucas is also listed 56th in aces per set (0.23).

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Sunday when the Bobcats travel to Gaffney, S.C. to take on Washington Adventist in a neutral site match at 11 a.m. on the campus of Limestone College.

- LMC -