September 7, 2013

Lions scratch past Bobcats in straight sets

FLORENCE, S.C. --- Sophomore Jordan Banta (Virginia Beach, Va.) and senior Molly Corhn (Hendersonville, N.C.) tallied match-highs of 13 kills and 18 digs, respectively, as the Mars Hill University women's volleyball team held on for a straight set victory over Lees-McRae College in the Bobcats' final contest at the Francis Marion University Tournament.

Mars Hill (2-2) won the match by scores of 25-15, 25-15, and 25-19, posting a .280 hitting percentage while holding Lees-McRae (0-4) to a .117 clip on the attack. The Lions recorded totals of 52 digs, 41 kills and eight service aces in the contest, as the Bobcats tallied 46 digs, 30 smashes and five blocks.

Banta led the way for the Bobcats with 13 kills, as Angela Morse (Clinton Township, Mich.) added seven smashes and three block assists. Corhn continued her strong play over the weekend with a match-high 18 digs, as freshman Jessica Winchester (Bryson City, N.C.) added 23 assists.

Toni Cole and Marissa Wixson paced the Lions with 13 and 11 kills, respectively, as Cole posted a .522 hitting percentage in the contest. Hannah Rowe nearly posted a double-double with nine kills and 13 digs while Maggie Murphy chipped in a team-high 14 digs.

The opening set proved to be a tightly contested affair until, with the score knotted at 9-9, Mars Hill went on an 8-0 run to claim a 17-9 advantage following a Bobcat miscue. The Lions would hold on from there, closing out the set with an 8-6 spurt that was capped by a Wixson smash.

Mars Hill carried the momentum into the second frame, opening the set with a 10-2 run before the Bobcats responded, cutting the margin to 10-6 with back-to-back aces from Banta. The Lions answered with an 11-6 run, pushing the lead to 21-12 following a Cole smash before Cole capped the frame with her ninth kill of the night.

The Bobcats battled back in the third set, taking an early 6-5 lead on a block by Morse and Haylee Leonard (Walburg, N.C.) before Mars Hill countered with a 7-4 run, claiming a 13-10 advantage on a Bobcat miscue. After the Lions stretched the margin to 17-12, Lees-McRae answered with a 3-0 spurt to trim the gap to 17-15 on an emphatic smash by Morse. Mars Hill would counter with an 8-4 run, quelling the rally and capping the set and the match with a kill from Hannah Wilson.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday, September 13 when the Bobcats travel to Bristol, Tenn. to take on University of Virginia at Wise and Concord University on the first day of the King University Invitational. The Bobcats will square off with UVA Wise at 2:15 p.m., followed by Concord at 6:45 p.m.

- LMC -