BRISTOL, Tenn. --- Lees-McRae sophomore Brady Markle notched a match-high 23 kills while senior Efrain Negron impressed defensively with 13 digs, but LMC fell to an emotionally-charged King squad, 25-22, 18-25, 22-25, 19-25, in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball action Wednesday evening at the Student Center in Bristol, Tenn.
The Tornado (9-17, 4-9 CC) snapped a five-match losing skid while playing with heavy hearts. The Bobcats (12-12, 4-7) battered the King defense for 17 kills in the opening set, but was unable to snap their recent skid.
Senior Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) stuffed the stat book with a match-high four service aces and 43 assists.
Markle (York, Pa.) ignited an LMC 11-5 run while Ramirez notched a kill and consecutive service aces, forcing a King timeout, 16-10, in the first set.
The Tornado' Nick Serowski tallied two his team-high 12 kills while shaving the deficit to two, 18-16. Kiel Bell and Matthew Lychock combined for a block to cut it one, but Markle slammed the door with three of his seven first set kills to pace LMC to a 25-22 win.
The Bobcats hit a match-high .353 in the opener.
King responded with a 7-1 run to second set after a quartet of LMC attack errors.
Coach Dave Schmidlin's squad would slice the deficit to three, twice.
The Tornado produced a 7-2 stretch to take a 24-17 lead. King's Jeff Bosslet notched a kill while tying it at one set each.
Senior Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied one of his 12 kills to put LMC up 12-9 in the third set.
Once again, the Tornado answered with a 7-2 spurt, but LMC would keep it to one, 16-15, following a Bell service error.
Markle connected on four kills, but LMC trailed 23-21. King used an Eddie Moushikhian kill to swipe a two set to one lead.
The final set proved to be entertaining while Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) joined the kill parade while his smash tied it at 14.
The Tornado closed the match out on an 11-5 run while holding LMC to a .081 clip.
Bell paced King with 11 digs while the team accumulated 12 total team blocks.
Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) recorded at least 13 digs for the third time this season and has 203 on the season.
LMC welcomes Pfeiffer to Williams Gymnasium Saturday at 7 p.m. The Bobcats defeated PU in a five-set thriller earlier in the season.
- LMC -