Mitchell and Epperson pace Lady Bobcats to sweep of Trojans

Box score

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. --- Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) and Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) each recorded a match-high 10 kills to lead the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to a straight-set sweep of Mount Olive College on Friday night in Conference Carolinas play.

Lees-McRae (21-7, 17-0 CC) won the match by scores of 25-16, 25-17, and 25-11, posting a blistering .459 hitting percentage while holding Mount Olive (6-22, 3-14 CC) to a 0.67 clip on the attack. With the win, the Lady Bobcats extend their league-record winning streak against conference opponents to 30 matches, while needing just one more victory to complete the second undefeated season in league history.

Mitchell posted a match-high 23 helpers to eclipse the 2,000-assist plateau for her career, while Epperson's 10 kills pulled her within 22 tallies of the prestigious 1,000-kill mark. Whitney Justice (Connelly Springs, N.C.) posted a superb match with eight kills, three service aces, a match-high five blocks, and a .500 hitting percentage.

Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) chipped in seven kills, while Taylor Stice (Franklin, Tenn.) tallied a pair of kills to set a new career high. Epperson and Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) posted nine and eight digs, respectively, while Chloe Casas (Plano, Texas) recorded a match-high four service aces.

Carly White (Ash, N.C.) and Ashlee Reuter (Durand, Ill.) paced the Trojans with eight kills each, while Kailey Preece (Vineland, Ontario) posted 20 assists. Lauren Lee (Mount Olive, N.C.) chipped in a team-high seven digs, while Tiffany Hight (Aviano, Italy) and Erika Conner (Marion, Iowa) each recorded three kills.

Lees-McRae rallied from an early 4-1 deficit in the first set, launching a 12-6 run to take a 13-10 lead on a block from Mitchell and Justice. The Lady Bobcats would continue to dictate play, opening a 23-14 advantage on a service ace from Epperson which capped a 10-4 spurt, before closing out the 25-16 first-set win on a kill from Justice.

Neither team could gain a significant advantage throughout most of the second set until Lees-McRae took command, launching a 6-0 run with the score at 18-16 to open a 24-16 lead on a kill from Justice. Lees-McRae then took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 15-17 second-set win by virtue of a Mount Olive service error.

The Lady Bobcats rallied from an early deficit once again in the third set, launching a 12-2 run to take a 12-5 lead, a spurt which included three straight kills from Epperson. Lees-McRae would not relinquish the momentum, extending the lead to 18-10 on a kill by Stice before closing out the set and the match with a block by Justice and Mitchell to cap a 7-0 run and a 25-11 third-frame win.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Lady Bobcats travel to Wilson, N.C. in search of the league's second-ever undefeated season in conference play. The match is slated for 2 p.m.

- LMC -