BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team recorded 14 blocks and held Sacred Heart University to a sub-zero hitting percentage en route to a straight-set sweep in non-conference play on Tuesday evening.
Lees-McRae (7-6) won the match by scores of 25-18, 25-15, and 25-15, holding Sacred Heart (4-14) to a -0.22 clip on the attack while posting a .270 hitting percentage of its own. The Bobcats registered 14 blocks (one solo, 26 assists) and 26 digs on the night, as Sacred Heart dug out 27 Bobcat attacks.
Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted a team-high seven kills on 11 swings for the Bobcats, recording a hitting percentage of .636 and adding six block assists. Joshua Jones (Christmas, Fla.) chipped in five kills and a match-high eight blocks (one solo, seven assists), as John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) added six block assists and four smashes.
Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) recorded a team-high seven digs, as Chris Flood (Louisville, Ky.) added six digs of his own. Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) chipped in 19 assists and six block assists.
Nick Hunt led the way for Sacred Heart with a match-high 14 kills, as Garrett Minyard and Mike Komlanc added five and four smashes, respectively. John Lutjen and Adrian Fernandez chipped in match-highs of 26 assists and nine digs, respectively.
Lees-McRae started off strong, opening a 17-11 lead in the first set on a Jones service ace to cap a 4-0 spurt. Sacred Heart would cut the advantage to 22-18 with a 7-5 spurt before the Bobcats responded, tallying three straight points to close out the set on a kill by Jones.
The Bobcats carried the momentum into the second set, taking an early 11-5 lead before Sacred Heart responded with a 4-1 spurt to trim the margin to 12-9 on a service ace by Enzo Mackenzie. Lees-McRae answered with a 5-2 run, pushing the lead to 17-11 on a Flood kill.
The Pioneers responded once again, trimming the margin to 19-15 on a kill by Jason Kinney before the Bobcats countered with a 6-0 run to close out the set and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
The Bobcats continued to dictate play in the third frame, opening an early 14-7 advantage on back-to-back miscues by the Pioneers. After Lees-McRae pushed the margin to 19-11, the Bobcats would close out the set with a 6-4 spurt that was capped by an emphatic block by Ramirez and Jones.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday, March 16 when the Bobcats host New Jersey Institute of Technology at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -