March 15, 2011

Mercado vaults to second in nation in kills

INDIANAPOLIS --- Reigning Conference Carolinas Player of the Week Chad Mercado (Orlando, Fla.) is ranked second in the nation in kills per set (4.77), and the Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team is listed fifth in aces per frame, announced NCAA officials Tuesday with the release of this week's NCAA Division I-II men's volleyball statistics.

Lees-McRae (13-7) has been on a tear of late, entering the week having won nine of its last 10 matches, with the only loss in that span coming in a five-set thriller at No. 11 Penn State University. The Bobcats enter the week ranked fifth in aces per set (1.61), 13th in winning percentage (0.611), 14th in hitting percentage (0.288), and 18th in digs per frame (8.08). Lees-McRae is also listed 21st in kills per set (12.08), 24th in assists per frame (11.27), and 27th in blocks per set (2.08).

Mercado posted a pair of superb performances on Monday against Limestone College and NCAA Division III powerhouse Philadelphia Biblical University, recording a match-high 25 kills in a five-set thriller against Limestone before tallying a contest-best 13 smashes against the Crimson Eagles in the nightcap. The 6-5, 235-pound opposite is now ranked second in kills per set and 11th in hitting percentage (0.352), while also entering the week listed 40th in digs per frame (1.66).

Freshman setter Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) enters the week ranked 13th in assists per set (10.42) and 24th in aces per frame (0.33), while Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) and John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) are each listed 42nd in blocks per set (0.85). Lucas and Mercado are also ranked 47th (0.26) and 68th (0.21), respectively, in aces per set.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats host Pfeiffer University to resume their conference slate. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. following the conclusion of the Bobcats' senior day festivities.

- LMC -