Justice and Mitchell lead Lady Bobcats to 3-1 win over Pfeiffer

Box score

MISENHEIMER, N.C. --- Senior Whitney Justice (Connelly Springs, N.C.) tallied a season-high 24 kills, and Conference Carolinas Player of the Week Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) recorded a career-best 55 assists to lead the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Pfeiffer University on Tuesday night in league action.

Lees-McRae (12-6, 10-0 CC) ran its winning streak to nine matches, rallying past the Falcons (3-12, 3-5 CC) by scores of 23-25, 25-19, 25-21, and 25-22 in a hard-fought battle. The Lady Bobcats posted a .336 hitting percentage, and a season-high 67 kills as three players recorded at least 15 kills on the night.

Justice delivered a dominant performance for the Lady Bobcats, recording a match-high 24 kills and a blistering .639 hitting percentage to record her fourth match of the season with at least 15 kills. Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) notched 17 kills and eight digs, while Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) turned in a double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs to lead the potent LMC attack.

Mitchell posted one of her best performances of the season just hours after being named the conference player of the week, recording a career- and match-high 55 assists to go along with four kills and five digs. Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) also chipped in a team-high 12 digs for the Lady Bobcats.

Kristina Mordini (Freeport, Ill.) paced the Lady Falcons with 14 kills and a .333 hitting percentage, while Milana Mervosh (Roebuck, S.C.) and Abbie Ovbey (Mt. Gilead, N.C.) chipped in nine and seven kills, respectively. Colleen Wands (Apex, N.C.) also dished out 34 assists, while Kari Markham (Asheboro, N.C.) and Jordan O'Bryant (Reidsville, N.C.) recorded 14 and 10 digs, respectively.

Pfeiffer rebounded from an early 5-1 deficit in the first set, going on a 5-0 run to take a narrow 6-5 lead in a frame marked by four lead changes and five ties. The Lady Falcons would battle to a 25-23 first set victory, tallying the final two points of the frame to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

Lees-McRae would begin to march back in the second set, rallying from an early 5-2 deficit to take a 12-8 lead with a service ace from Clendenin on the heels of a 10-3 run. Pfeiffer would cut the margin to 14-13 with a 5-2 spurt, and after the Lady Bobcats stretched the lead to 17-14, launched a 5-0 run to take a 19-17 advantage on a bad set by LMC. Lees-McRae would respond, going on an 8-0 run to even the match at 1-1 with a 25-19 second-set victory.

Another Lady Bobcat rally would be required in the third set, as the Falcons opened the set with a 12-7 surge, including a 5-0 run with the score knotted at 7-7. Lees-McRae would answer once again with a surge of its own, taking an 18-16 lead on the heels of an 11-4 run that included three kills from Epperson. Pfeiffer would keep it close, trimming the margin to two points on three occasions down the stretch before Epperson capped off the 25-21 set win with an emphatic kill.

Neither team would gain a significant advantage for much of the fourth set until Justice exploded, tallying seven kills down the stretch to lead the Lady Bobcats to their 10th straight victory in conference play, recording the final kill in LMC's 25-22 fourth-frame win.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday when the Lady Bobcats travel to Gaffney, S.C. for a 7 p.m. conference matchup with Limestone College. The Lady Bobcats defeated the Saints in four sets in the schools' first meeting of the season on Sep. 24 in Williams Gymnasium.

- LMC -