BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team defeated Barton College in straight sets on Saturday to complete the second undefeated season in Conference Carolinas' history, sweeping the Bulldogs by scores of 25-13, 26-24, and 25-17 to close out the league campaign with a perfect 18-0 mark.
Lees-McRae (22-7, 18-0 CC) posted a .263 hitting percentage, seven service aces, and five blocks, while holding Barton (14-13, 10-7 CC) to a .071 clip on the attack. With the win, the Lady Bobcats also extend their league-record winning streak against conference opponents to 31 matches.
Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) tallied match-high totals of 11 kills and three service aces to pace the Lady Bobcats, while moving within 11 kills of the 1,000-kill plateau for her career. Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) and Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) posted match-highs of 29 digs and 35 assists, respectively, while Taylor Stice (Franklin, Tenn.) and Lauren Fox (Garland, Texas) each recorded a trio of blocks. Whitney Justice (Connelly Springs, N.C.) also tallied 10 kills and a .364 hitting percentage for the Lady Bobcats.
Kati Wood (Pasadena, Md.) and Meagan Parrott (Oxford, N.C.) paced the Bulldogs with seven kills each, while Carly Love (Oxford, N.C.) turned in team-highs of 15 assists and nine digs. Melissa Ritter (Wescosville, Pa.) and Kristen Peschock (Statesville, N.C.) chipped in eight digs each, while Chancey Sebranek (Garden City, Kan.) posted a team-high three blocks.
Lees-McRae started strong, opening the first set with an 8-1 run before extending the margin to 16-6 with a service ace by Fox on the heels of an 8-3 run. The Lady Bobcats then closed out the set with a 9-7 edge down the stretch to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Barton responded early in the second stanza, opening an early 3-2 lead before the Lady Bobcats rallied, launching a 14-7 run to take a 16-10 advantage on a kill by Oliver. The Bulldogs would answer with an 11-3 surge of their own, taking a 21-19 lead on a kill by Ritter. Lees-McRae would respond once again, fighting back to take a 24-23 lead on a kill by Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) before claiming a 2-0 advantage in the match by virtue of two Barton miscues.
The Bulldogs would answer again in the third set, opening the frame with an 8-6 spurt before Lees-McRae reclaimed the momentum with a 9-0 surge to take a 15-9 lead after three straight service aces from Epperson. Barton battled back to cut the margin to 18-15 with a 6-3 spurt before the Lady Bobcats closed out the set and the match with a 7-2 run.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Tuesday when the top-seeded and regular season champion Lady Bobcats host eighth-seeded Mount Olive College in the opening round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament at a time to be determined.
- LMC -