BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team tallied 17 service aces, and a scorching .492 hitting percentage en route to a three-set sweep of Coker College on Saturday afternoon, securing the program's 11th Conference Carolinas regular season title in the last 12 years on senior day.
Lees-McRae (19-7, 15-0 CC) won the match by scores of 25-13, 25-10, and 25-13 to clinch the league crown, and home court advantage through next week's conference tournament. Whitney Justice (Connelly Springs, N.C.) and Taylor Stice (Franklin, Tenn.) each shined on their senior day, as both players posted a hitting percentage of at least .400.
Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) led the way for the Lady Bobcats with eight kills on 18 swings, while Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) tallied a match-high 27 assists, four kills, and four service aces for LMC. Justice and Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) paced the Lady Bobcats with five service aces each, as Clendenin also tallied a match-high nine digs. Freshman Lauren Fox (Garland, Texas) posted six kills on six swings for LMC, while Justice and Stice posted six and four kills, respectively.
April Griggs (Bishopville, S.C.) paced Coker with a match-high eight kills, recording a .700 hitting percentage, while Katie McElveen (Hartsville, S.C.) and Cynallhia Indriago (Columbia, S.C.) each tallied four kills. Molly Bookhart (Orangeburg, S.C.) chipped in 20 assists, while Mindy Morris (Beaufort, S.C.) notched five digs.
Lees-McRae opened the match strong, taking an early 9-4 lead in the first set on back-to-back service aces by Justice before pushing the margin to 17-7 with an 8-3 run. After a trio of Cobra points cut the margin to 17-10, the Lady Bobcats launched an 8-3 spurt to close out the 25-13 first-set win on a kill by Epperson.
The Lady Bobcats carried the momentum into the second set, opening the frame with an 11-4 run that included a pair of service aces. Lees-McRae would continue to dictate the flow of play, pushing the margin to 21-8 with a 10-4 run that included back-to-back service aces from Clendenin. The Green and Gold would then close out the set with a 4-2 spurt to claim a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
Coker would keep it close early in the third set, until the Lady Bobcats launched an 8-0 run to take a 13-3 lead on back-to-back service aces from Mitchell. The Cobras responded, going on a 6-0 spurt of their own to cut the margin to 13-9 before LMC could counter, launching a 12-4 run to close out the set and clinch the program's second straight conference title.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Tuesday when the Lady Bobcats host Pfeiffer University in their regular season home finale. The match is slated for 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
- LMC -