Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team was selected to finish ninth in Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll the league office announced Wednesday. Senior Hector Serviat along with sophomores Robert Bowling and Ethan Gardner were tabbed as players to watch for Lees-McRae in 2019.
Barton headlined Wednesday's poll collecting 80 points and eight of the nine first-place votes. Mount Olive wasn't far behind picking up 66 points and the final first-place nod. Belmont Abbey (63 points) and King (62 points) rounded out the top four of the poll followed by Limestone (52 points), North Greenville (47 points), Emmanuel (34 points), Erskine (34 points) and Lees-McRae (30 points).
Serviat enters his final season as a Bobcats as the lone senior on the roster. The Miami, Florida native posted 74 kills, eight assists, 13 aces, 32 digs and 46 blocks last season. Serviat comes into his final campaign in the Green and Gold ranking 10th all-time in program history in kills (349), aces (36), solo blocks (20) and seventh in total blocks (124).
As a freshman in 2018, Bowling finished second on the team with 172 kills and led all Bobcats with 24 aces. Thanks to a 17-kill effort against Coker, Bowling was named the Conference Carolinas Men's Volleyball Player of the Week on January 15, 2018. Due to these accomplishments, Bowling was one of 26 players that were recently named to the 2019 Karch Kiraly watch list. The Karch Kiraly award goes to the nation's top outside hitter.
Much like Bowling, Gardner made an immediate impact on the court for Lees-McRae in 2018. Gardner totaled 125 kills, 15 aces, 30 digs and 78 blocks as a freshman. Gardner's hitting percentage (.283) and 78 total blocks led Lees-McRae last season.
LMC will begin the 2019 season on January 11 when it hosts Purdue Fort Wayne at Williams Gymnasium. First serve for that match is set for 7 p.m.