BANNER ELK, N.C. --- A trio of Lees-McRae men's volleyball players registered double-digit kills, but LMC fell in a five-set thriller to Mount Olive, 25-23, 15-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-12, in front of a raucous crowd in Williams Gymnasium Friday evening in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Trojans (11-10, 8-3 CC) rallied from an 8-4 deficit in the final set while Angel Dache paced the team with 16 kills. The Bobcats (12-10, 4-5) lost at home for the first time this season despite hitting an astonishing .520 in the fourth set.
The Bobcats used a 4-0 run following consecutive Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) kills to break a 14-all tie, 18-14, in the opening set.
Mount Olive responded with a 6-2 run following a kill from Quaid Marin to tie it at 20. Sophomore Brady Markle (York, Pa.) continued his impressive 2014 slate with a kill prior to a Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) ace while LMC took a 23-22 lead.
Markle crushed a kill to give the home squad an early 1-0 advantage, 25-23.
Coach Dave Schmidlin's squad swung at a .280 clip.
Ramirez produced one of his five kills to put LMC up, 6-5, in the second set.
The Trojans ripped off a 14-4 run thanks to six Bobcat attack errors to hold a healthy 20-10 advantage.
Both teams see-sawed the rest of the set while a kill from the Trojans Lewis Einarson sealed it for the visitors, 25-15.
Mount Olive held LMC to a match-low .-150 mark.
Senior Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) dialed up a kill in the third set while LMC led 10-9.
Once again, the Trojans produced a 10-4 run, capped off by a block from Renzo Rossato and Mike Mann.
LMC clawed its way back to tie it at 22 when senior Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) chipped in with a block assists and one of his 15 kills.
Einerson struck again, this time with a service ace, while the visitors squeaked out the third set, 25-23.
A quartet of Bobcat kills and a Ramirez ace gave the home team a 14-8 lead in the fourth.
LMC never let up while cruising to a 25-16 win while racking up a match-up 17 kills.
The fifth set proved to be a dandy while LMC used a pair of Markle kills and block from Sheers and Morrison to enjoy an 8-4 lead.
The Trojans reciprocated their early set woes and used an 8-4 run of their own to knot at 12. Dache notched a kill while LMC missed two kill attempts while Mount Olive took the winner-take-all set.
Markle (19), Harpenau (15) and Sheers (10) impressed offensively while Ramirez handed out 45 assists. Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) had 10 digs.
The Bobcats will host Barton tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -