Justice paces Lady Bobcats to 13th straight win

Box score

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Senior Whitney Justice (Connelly Springs, N.C.) tallied 15 kills, and Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) posted a match-high 18 digs to lead the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to a 3-2 win over Queens University of Charlotte on Tuesday night in Conference Carolinas play.

Lees-McRae (16-6, 13-0 CC) won the match by scores of 18-25, 25-17, 25-23, 20-25, and 15-9, staving off a comeback from Queens (15-7, 9-5 CC) after the Royals took the fourth set to force a deciding fifth frame. The Lady Bobcats posted a sterling .385 hitting percentage en route to their 13th straight win, as the LMC trimmed its magic number to three in its quest for the program's 11th league title in the last 12 seasons.

Justice posted an impressive performance, tallying 15 kills, one error, and a .500 hitting percentage on 28 swings to pace the LMC attack. Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) tallied a match-high 43 assists while posting three kills on four swings, as Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) notched nine kills for the Lady Bobcats. Oliver paced LMC with 18 digs, as Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) and Taylor Stice (Franklin, Tenn.) posted five and four kills, respectively.

Queens' Keri Kemp (Lake Mary, Fla.) paced the Royals with a double-double, tallying a match-high 16 kills to go with 15 digs. Alexa Sparell (Winter Park, Fla.) chipped in 11 kills of her own, while Brittney Barren (Ham Lake, Minn.) tied LMC's Oliver's match-high 18 digs. Avery Moore (Arlington, Texas) also posted 41 assists, while Brittany Harvey (Matthews, N.C.) and Anna Gibbs (Hickory, N.C.) chipped in nine and eight kills, respectively.

The Royals took an early lead in the match, winning the first set by a score of 25-18, before Lees-McRae rallied to take a 2-1 advantage in the contest with wins of 25-17 and 25-23 in the following two frames.

Queens would launch a rally of its own in the fourth, edging the Lady Bobcats by a score of 25-20 to force a deciding fifth set. Lees-McRae would respond with a comeback early in the fifth set to claim its 13th straight win, while evening its record in five-set matches at 3-3.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday as the Lady Bobcats travel to Hickory, N.C. for a non-conference matchup with Lenoir-Rhyne University. The match is slated for 7 p.m.

- LMC -