The Lees-McRae College Lady Bobcats volleyball team traveled to Pennsylvania this week to play in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional. The eight time defending Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference champion Lady Bobcats entered the Atlantic Regional Tournament as the number seven seed and faced number two seed California University Pennsylvania, a team that swept the Bobcats 3-0 back on September 3rd early in the season.
This game started out much like the first time these two teams had played with California taking a 1-0 lead with a convincing 18-30 win. As the Lady Bobcats settled into the game, they battled hard to close the gap, only to come up short and fall 24-30. As the Lady Bobcats had done consistently all season long, they battled back taking game three 30-28. Now that the Lady Bobcats had found their comfort zone they continued to roll forcing a fifth and deciding game with 30-21 win. With control of the game's momentum, the Lady Bobcats would continue their assault, avenging the early season loss when it counted with a 15-12 win to take the game 3-2 and move on to the next round. With the upset win over number two seed California, the Lady Bobcats will now take on number three seed Edinboro University.
Junior co-captain, and CVAC Tournament MVP, Lacie Smith (Knoxville, TN) led the Lady Bobcats attack with a match high 22 kills while also contributing defensively with 14 digs. Classmate Amanda Huffaker (Maryville, TN) added 14 kills and was a force at the net adding a solo block and six block assists, while sophomore Caty Honey (Geneva, IL) added 13 kills of her own. The one two punch of freshman Nicole Burns (Orlando, FL) and CVAC Freshman of the Year Valia Petrova (Sofia, Bulgaria) propelled the Lady Bobcats service with 5 and 4 aces respectively, while Petrova also distributed the ball to her hitters extremely well tallying 54 assists. Senior co-captain Bridget Thornton (Owings Mill, MD) did all she could to add at least one more game to her collegiate career by leading the defense with a match high 15 digs while also contributing offensively with 7 kills.
Much like California, Edinboro will be no stranger to the Lady Bobcats as they played them to a five game set back on September 30. Unfortunately the Lady Bobcats lost that game 3-2 but will no doubt bring their A game once more and look to avenge the early season loss as they did against California; when it counts.