BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Jose Ribas (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) posted 25 kills in five sets, including a match-high 19 smashes against the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez, to lead the Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team to a pair of impressive victories against Washington Adventist University and Mayaguez on Friday in Williams Gymnasium.
Lees-McRae (9-3) opened the day with a 25-11, 25-20, 25-14 victory over Washington Adventist (1-4) in the afternoon match, before holding on for a 25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22 win against Puerto Rico Mayaguez in the night cap.
Match One: Lees-McRae 3, Washington Adventist 0 (Box Score)
The Bobcats posted a .217 hitting percentage in the contest, holding Washington Adventist to a -.069 clip on the attack while tallying 37 kills and six blocks. Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) led the way for Lees-McRae with a match-high eight smashes, as Ribas tallied six kills in just one set of action.
Houston Callaway (Thurmond, N.C.) and Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) each posted five kills, while Javier Jimenez (San Sebastian, Puerto Rico) chipped in four smashes. Drew Blecher (York, Pa.) added a match-high 29 assists, as Sheers and Josh Cothron (Bradenton, Fla.) posted contest-bests of seven digs and four service aces, respectively.
Jordhon Horelien paced the Shock with five kills and a match-high eight digs, as Paul Lim dug out eight Bobcat attacks of his own. Kyle Christiansen added 10 assists, while Brandon Show chipped in three kills.
The Bobcats jumped out to an early 17-7 lead in the first set, stretching the margin to 10 with a 6-0 spurt that was capped by a smash by Brady Markle (York, Pa.). Lees-McRae would push the lead to 22-10 on a block from Morrison and Cothron, before Markle capped the set with an ace to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead in the match.
Adventist fought back in the second, cutting the lead to 13-9 on a Bobcat miscue before forcing a hitting error by LMC to trim the margin to 20-18. Lees-McRae would answer with a 5-2 spurt, claiming the set and a commanding 2-0 lead in the match following an emphatic kill by Morrison.
The Bobcats carried the momentum into the third, opening the frame with a 14-4 run before pushing the advantage to 19-8 following a textbook block by Morrison and Cothron. Lees-McRae would close out the set and the match from there, capping the frame with a pair of smashes from Sheers.
Match Two: Lees-McRae 3, Puerto Rico Mayaguez 1 (Box Score)
The Bobcats posted a .233 hitting percentage in the contest, while holding Mayaguez to a .057 clip on the attack. Lees-McRae and Mayaguez combined for 26.5 blocks in the match, as the Bobcats posted 54 kills and 15 stuffs on the night.
Ribas led the way for Lees-McRae with a match-high 19 kills, posting a .417 hitting percentage in the contest, as Jimenez and Joshua Jones (Christmas, Fla.) each added 11 smashes. Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) added match-highs of 46 assists and nine digs, while Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) chipped in eight kills and a contest-best eight blocks (one solo, seven assists). Ramirez added five blocks (one solo, four assists), while Jones posted five block assists.
Julio Fontanent and Gustavo Mejias paced Mayaguez with seven kills each, as Gabriel Gracia and Eduardo Gonzalez both added six smashes. Lewis Rodriguez chipped in 24 assists, while Erick Garcia posted a match-high 11 digs. Gracia also recorded six block assists in the contest.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 14-3 advantage in the first set, capping the spurt with a Harpenau smash before pushing the lead to 19-8 on a block by Jones and Ribas. Puerto Rico would battle back, cutting the margin to 22-17 with a 9-3 spurt that was capped by a block from Fontanent and Gracia. Lees-McRae answered with three of the final five points of the set, claiming a 1-0 lead in the match following a Harpenau kill.
The second set proved to be a tightly contested affair, with neither team holding more than a three-point lead until the Bobcats launched a 5-1 spurt, claiming a 22-17 advantage following a Ribas smash and a Mayaguez miscue.
After Lees-McRae pushed Mayaguez to set point at 24-20 with a Ribas kill, Puerto Rico answered with back-to-back markers to trim the margin to 24-22 on an ace by Hiram Forestier. Jones responded for the Bobcats, capping the set and giving Lees-McRae a 2-0 lead in the match with a frame-ending smash.
Puerto Rico answered in the third, snatching a 15-13 lead with a 4-0 spurt that was capped by a kill from Eduardo Gonzalez. Mayaguez would push the lead to 22-18 following a Mejias smash, before capping the set on a Bobcat miscue to cut the Lees-McRae advantage in the match to 2-1.
Mayaguez battled to an early 12-9 lead in the fourth, putting together an early 9-5 run that was capped by a Bobcat miscue. Lees-McRae would answer with a 4-1 spurt, evening the tally at 13-13 following a Ribas smash and an emphatic solo block by Ramirez.
After Puerto Rico countered with a 4-2 run to claim a narrow 17-15 advantage, and the Bobcats answered with a 3-0 spurt, Mayaguez forced a key Lees-McRae miscue to snatch a 20-19 lead. The Bobcats responded with a 3-1 spurt, taking a 22-21 advantage on a Ribas kill before Ribas and Jones combined for a trio of kills to cap the set and the match.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats resume their Conference Carolinas schedule with a pivotal match-up against Pfeiffer University at 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -