BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Junior John Sobel and freshman Hector Serviat combined for 25 kills, but the Lees-McRae men's volleyball team fell to Emmanuel (Ga.), 22-25, 21-25, 25-21, 17-25, in a season-opening loss Saturday afternoon in Conference Carolinas play at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
The Lions (2-0, 2-0 CC) used a 16-kill performance from Alex Barbosa and eight digs from Jordan Funk to earn the win. The Bobcats (0-1, 0-1) impressed defensively with a combined 16 block assists while Drew Blecher (York, Pa.) dished out 36 assists.
EC used a quick 3-0 run in the opening set to grab a 7-5 lead. LMC responded and took a slim 13-12 advantage after a pair of service errors from the Lions.
Serviat (Miami, Fla.) cranked out one of his team-high 13 kills to knot it at 18 before the Lions retaliated with a 3-0 run.
Funk and Barbosa stuffed a Bobcat attack and claimed the first set on the next play following a Gilberto Cerventas kill.
EC swung at a match-high clip .318 in the frame.
The Lions led wire-to-wire in the second and led by five, twice, after kills from Funk. Funk was one of three EC players with at least seven kills.
The Bobcats clawed back within two following consecutive kills from Sobel (Holbrook, N.Y.).
The junior finished with 12 kills in the contest.
LMC used a pair of Blecher block assists to keep it within striking distance, but a Barbosa kill gave EC a two sets-to-none lead.
Barbosa led all players in kills.
Serviat delivered a trio of kills and had a pair of block assists while LMC claimed the third set.
Coach Henry Chuang's team swung at a .310 clip in the set.
The Lions sprinted out to a 15-4 lead in the final frame after a trio of kills from Barbosa.
Rudy Klaas (Dakar, Senegal) sparked a 4-0 run with an ace to cut the deficit to six, 16-10.
EC staved off the comeback effort with kills from Barbosa and Caleb Bonaventure.
Bonaventure dished out 28 assists.
LMC welcomes Pfeiffer Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. for a Conference Carolinas tilt in Williams Gymnasium.