Lady Bobcat defense blocks Trojan charge in straight-set sweep

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) tallied 11 kills, and Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) recorded five service aces to lead the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to a three-set sweep of Mount Olive College on Friday night in Conference Carolinas play.

Lees-McRae (10-6, 8-0 CC) won the match by scores of 25-18, 25-16, and 25-19, holding the Trojans (3-12, 1-6 CC) to a -0.11 hitting percentage while recording 12 blocks. Epperson led the way with a match-high 11 kills, marking her fourth straight contest with at least 10 kills, while recording nine digs, four blocks (two solo, two assists), and a .429 hitting percentage.

Whitney Justice (Connelly Springs, N.C.) tallied seven kills, while Meme Brown (Boonville, N.C.) and Taylor Stice (Franklin, Tenn.) recorded six (one solo, five assists) and five blocks (one solo, four assists), respectively. Mitchell posted 30 assists and five digs, while tallying a match-high five service aces. Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) paced the Lady Bobcats with 10 digs, while Epperson and Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) notched nine and eight digs, respectively.

Carly White (Ash, N.C.) paced the Trojans with eight kills as Lauren Lee (Mount Olive, N.C.) chipped in six kills. Kailey Preece (Vineland, Ontario) tallied 16 assists for Mount Olive, while Feliz Ramirez (San Antonio, Texas) recorded a match-high 15 digs.

Neither team could gain a significant advantage in the early part of the first set until, with the score at 14-12 in favor of the Lady Bobcats, LMC launched a 5-1 spurt to take a 19-13 lead on a kill by Stice. The Lady Bobcats then closed out the 25-18 win by tallying three of the final four points of the frame.

Lees-McRae continued to control the flow of the match in the second set, opening an early 11-5 lead, and extending the margin to 19-9 on a Justice kill that capped an 8-4 spurt. Mount Olive would close the gap to 23-16 with a 7-4 run, before the Lady Bobcats tallied the final two points of the set, including a solo block by Stice that ended the frame and gave LMC a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

Mount Olive would fight back in the third set, taking an early 6-4 lead on back-to-back service aces by White, before the Lady Bobcats went on a 5-0 run to take a 9-6 advantage on a pair of aces by Mitchell. The Trojans would keep the margin within two points for the next several rallies, until the Lady Bobcats launched another 5-0 run to claim a 17-11 advantage on a solo block by Justice.

Mount Olive would battle back once again, trimming the margin to 18-14 with a 3-1 spurt, and after the Lady Bobcats stretched the lead to 22-14 with a 4-0 surge, launched a 5-2 run of its own to cut the advantage to 24-19. Lees-McRae would respond, as Clendenin recorded an emphatic kill to end the threat, and close out the three-set sweep.

The Lady Bobcats return to the court on Saturday when they host Barton College to continue their conference slate. The match is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.

- LMC -