Lucas paces Bobcats to 3-1 win over King

Box score

BRISTOL, Tenn. --- John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) recorded a match-high 15 kills and Dylan Kembre (West Chester, Ohio) turned in a personal-best 46 assists to lead the Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team to a 3-1 win over King College on Thursday evening in Conference Carolinas play.

Lees-McRae (6-5, 3-1 CC) won the match by scores of 25-18, 25-22, 23-25, and 25-23, posting a hitting percentage of .194 on the night to go along with 52 kills and 33 digs. The Bobcats held King (6-9, 1-3 CC) to a .091 clip on the attack, as the Tornado recorded 35 kills and 10 blocks in the contest.

Lucas posted match-highs of 15 kills three service aces to go along with a .323 hitting percentage, as Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Chris Flood (Louisville, Ky.) added 11 and 10 smashes, respectively. Harpenau posted a blistering .478 hitting percentage, while Kembre chipped in a match-high 46 assists. Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) added a team-high seven digs, while Lucas and Flood each dug out six Tornado attacks.

Jeremy Funk paced the Tornado with eight kills, as Michael Koebel and Adrian Kibsey each posted seven smashes. Ned Parker recorded a double-double with 28 assists and a match-high 10 digs, as Kibsey and Brandon Rorer dug out 10 and eight Bobcat attacks, respectively. Eric Glenn chipped in a match-high six blocks (one solo, five assists).

The Bobcats jumped out to a commanding 18-8 lead in the first set before King responded with a 5-1 run to cut the margin to 19-13 on a Bobcat miscue. Lees-McRae would push the lead to 22-13 on a Lucas kill before Lucas capped the set with an emphatic smash.

Lucas and the Bobcats carried the momentum into the second set, opening an early 13-6 advantage on a Lucas service ace. The Tornado would respond with a 7-4 run, trimming the margin to 17-14 on a Kibsey kill before evening the tally at 20-20 on a smash by Funk. The Bobcats answered with a 5-2 spurt, closing out the set and taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the match on a kill by Lucas.

King battled back in the third frame, launching a 7-3 run midway through the set to take a narrow 16-15 advantage on a Bobcat miscue. After the Bobcats evened the tally on two of the next three points, King responded with a 6-4 spurt to claim a 23-21 advantage following a Bobcat miscue. The Tornado would then close out the set on a block by Glenn and Parker to cut the lead in the match to 2-1.

The fourth set proved to be a seesaw battle of runs, with Lees-McRae responding to a 14-12 Tornado advantage midway through the frame with a 7-2 spurt, taking a 19-16 lead on a Flood kill. After King rallied the even the tally on a trio of occasions, including a 23-23 deadlock, the Bobcats countered with back-to-back points to claim the set and the match on a pair of Tornado miscues.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday, March 3 when the Bobcats travel to Mount Olive, N.C. to take on Mount Olive College in conference play at 3 p.m.

- LMC -