Patriots sweep Bobcats, 3-0

Box score

FAIRFAX, Va. --- Chad Mercado (Orlando, Fla.) recorded a match-high 22 kills to surpass the 1,000-kill mark for his career as the George Mason University men's volleyball team swept Lees-McRae College on Friday night in non-conference action.

George Mason (13-8) posted a .321 hitting percentage on the night, recording 13 total blocks while limiting Lees-McRae (14-8) to a .101 clip on the attack. The Patriots won the contest by scores of 25-16, 25-16, and 25-17 to snap the Bobcats' six-match winning streak.

Mercado paced the Bobcats with 22 kills and a .310 clip on the attack, while posting a match-high eight digs. Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) added a match-high 30 assists as Juan Ramirez (Miami, Fla.) equaled Mercado's contest-best eight digs.

Mark Jones led the way for George Mason with 14 kills on 28 swings, as Max MacFarland and Piotr Dabrowski chipped in seven and six kills, respectively. Brandon Joyner posted 26 assists and six blocks, while Dabrowski added a match-high eight stuffs.

George Mason jumped out to an early 16-9 lead in the first set on a Bobcat miscue, extending the margin to 19-10 on a block by Jones and Dabrowski. The Patriots then closed out the set with a Jones kill to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Bobcats kept it close in the second set, taking an early 4-2 lead on a block by Mercado and Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) before the Patriots responded, claiming a 14-11 advantage on the heels of a 12-7 run. George Mason then closed out the set with an 11-5 spurt to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

Neither team could gain a significant lead early in the third set, until George Mason launched a 7-1 run to take a 15-9 lead on a block by Charlie Swingle and Joyner. After the Bobcats cut the margin to 15-13 on three straight Patriot miscues, George Mason answered with an 8-3 run to take a 23-16 lead before closing out the set and the match on a kill by McFarland.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Sunday when the Bobcats travel to Bristol, Va. to take on Ball State University in a neutral site contest on the campus of King College. First serve is slated for 3 p.m.

- LMC -