Photo Courtesy of Jacob Turner
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team fell in three sets to No. 13 Purdue Fort Wayne in its first match of the 2019 season Friday night at Williams Gymnasium.
Set 1 – The difference in the opening stanza was Purdue Fort Wayne's work from the service line along with an efficient offense while attacking. The Mastodons totaled six aces in the opening frame with four of those coming from Pelegrin Vargas. In addition to the aces, Purdue Fort Wayne hit .235 on 17 attacks. The combination of these factors allowed the Mastodons to roll to a victory in the first set, 25-14.
Set 2 – The magic touch from the service line escaped the Mastodons in the second frame. As a team, Purdue Fort Wayne committed nine service errors. With these miscues, the Bobcats were hanging with the 13th-ranked team in the nation. The score read 18-18 late in the stanza before a couple key mistakes by Lees-McRae allowed the Mastodons to seize momentum and take the set, 25-19.
Set 3 – In what proved to be the final set of Friday's contest, the Mastodons hit a blistering .471 with 11 kills on 17 attacks. Lees-McRae, meanwhile, posted a -.200 attack percentage in the third leading Purdue Fort Wayne to clinch the frame and the match, 25-18.
Stat Standouts – Drew Sims led Lees-McRae in his first match as a Bobcat. The Stevenson Ranch, California native totaled a team-high six kills to go along with three total blocks in his debut for the Green and Gold. Nick Cookingham led the team with 14 assists, and Isaac Reed chipped in six digs to round out the stat leaders for Lees-McRae on Friday.
Next Up – Lees-McRae will be back in action next Tuesday when it hosts Bluefield College in a non-conference tilt at Williams Gymnasium. First serve between the Rams and Bobcats is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.