Justice nets second career Conference Carolinas Player of the Year honors

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- Senior Whitney Justice (Connelly Springs, N.C.) was named the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year for the second straight season, headlining a group of four members of the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to garner all-Conference Carolinas recognition, announced league officials Wednesday.

Justice, Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.), and Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) each garnered first team recognition, while sophomore Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) was named to the third team.

Justice has been perhaps the most dominate player in the conference over the past two seasons, leading the league in hitting percentage each year. The 6-1 middle blocker is in the midst of a career season for the Bobcats, posting a blistering .450 hitting percentage against league opponents this fall en route to a first team selection. A native of Connelly Springs, N.C., Justice has led the Bobcats to one of the best seasons in program history thus far, as LMC posted a perfect 18-0 record against league opponents to claim the school's 12th conference title in the last 13 years.

Epperson is having a career season for the Bobcats, posting a personal-best 370 kills through last night's league tournament quarterfinal match to garner all-conference first team recognition for the first time in her career. The two-time all-conference performer posted one of the best campaigns in the conference this fall, finishing the regular season second in the league averaging 3.46 kills per set against conference opponents.

Mitchell has been the best setter in the conference this season, leading the league with 10.57 assists per set against conference opponents. The sophomore court general achieved a pair of personal milestones this season, recording 1,000 assists while eclipsing the 2,000-helper plateau for her career. A two-time all-conference selection, Mitchell has also been one of the nation's top setters this season, entering the week ranked 47th in the country in assists per set.

Oliver has been a pleasant surprise for the Bobcats this fall, taking over as the team's libero despite being a nature outside hitter, and proceeding to lead the conference in digs per set (3.93) against league opponents. A native of Davie, Fla., Oliver has tallied 20 or more digs on five occasions this fall, including a season-high against UC-Colorado Springs in early September. Oliver garners all-conference recognition for the first time in her career, netting a spot on the third team.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday when the top-seeded Bobcats host fourth-seeded Queens University of Charlotte in the semifinal round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. The match is slated for 6:30 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.

- LMC -