FLORENCE, S.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team dropped a pair of hard-fought matches to open the 2013 season on Friday at the Francis Marion University Tournament, falling to Newberry College and host Francis Marion in straight sets.
Newberry (1-0) took the first match by scores of 25-11, 25-12, and 25-18, before Francis Marion (2-0) outlasted Lees-McRae (0-2) 25-15, 25-21, and 29-27 in the final contest of the day. The Bobcats held their opponents to a combined hitting percentage of .163 on the day, including a .130 clip for Newberry, while posting 10 blocks and averaging just under 15 digs per set.
Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) paced the Bobcats with 16 kills on the day, including a match-high 10 smashes against Francis Marion. Freshman Avalon Liscio (Naples, Fla.) added 10 kills, as Jordan Banta (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Angela Morse (Clinton Township, Mich.) added eight and six smashes, respectively.
Senior Molly Corhn (Hendersonville, N.C.) posted 28 digs in the two contests, averaging nearly five per set, as Jessica Winchester (Bryson City, N.C.) chipped in 41 assists. Beatty, Liscio, and Morse each had four blocks.
Match One: Newberry 3, Lees-McRae 0 (Box Score)
Beatty led the way for the Bobcats with six kills, while Morse and Liscio each chipped in three. Corhn tallied a match-high 15 digs, as Beatty and Candace Niemiec (Huntington Beach, Calif.) added 12 and eight savers, respectively.
Samantha Parrish and Logan Hayward paced the Wolves with seven kills each, as Jessica King added six smashes and a .385 hitting percentage. Parrish and Elayni Stokes posted 13 and 12 digs, respectively.
The Bobcats fought hard in the first set, cutting the margin to 9-7 on a service ace from Beatty before the Wolves responded with a 10-2 run, pushing the lead to 17-9 following a Parrish smash. Newberry parlayed that momentum into a late 8-1 spurt to take an early 1-0 lead in the match with a 25-11 win in the opening frame.
Lees-McRae battled back early in the second, trimming the lead to 6-5 on back-to-back Newberry miscues before the Wolves answered with a 10-1 surge, stretching the gap to 16-6 on a kill from Amanda Soper. The Wolves then capped the set with a 9-6 spurt to claim a 2-0 advantage in the match following a tandem block by Alexus Horton and Holly Brisson.
The Bobcats countered once again in the early moments of the third, claiming an early 8-6 advantage following a smash by Liscio. After Newberry responded and with a 9-5 run, and Lees-McRae answered with back-to-back points to even the tally at 15, the Wolves strung together a 5-0 spurt to snatch a 20-15 lead on consecutive kills by Hayward. The Wolves would close out the match from there, capping the set with a 5-3 spurt to claim the victory.
Match Two: Francis Marion 3, Lees-McRae 0 (Box Score)
Beatty led the way for the Bobcats with a match-high 10 kills, as Liscio and Banta chipped in seven and six smashes, respectively. Corhn added a contest-best 13 digs, while Winchester nearly tallied a double-double with 26 assists and nine digs.
Megan Mooney and Jessica Imbimbo paced the Patriots with nine kills each, while Alexzandra Reed and Emily Sears both added seven smashes. Rebekah Davis and Sears posted 13 and 11 digs, respectively.
Francis Marion jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the match with a 25-15 win in the first set, opening the frame with a 13-5 run before pushing the advantage to 22-11 following a Mooney kill. The Patriots then capped the set with three of the next seven points to close out the frame on a smash by Sears.
Lees-McRae battled back in the second, evening the tally at 10-10 on a Patriot miscue before Francis Marion responded, launching a 9-3 run to claim a 19-13 advantage. The Bobcats answered with a 5-1 spurt of their own, cutting the lead to 20-18 on back-to-back Liscio kills and trimming the margin further to 22-21 with a Morse smash. Francis Marion answered once again with a 3-0 spurt, taking a 2-0 lead in the match on a kill by Alexzandra Reed.
The third set proved to be an epic battle of wills, as the frame featured 56 points, six ties, and three lead changes. Lees-McRae would answer the bell first in the set, taking an early 6-2 lead before Francis Marion countered with a 13-5 run to claim a 16-11 advantage following a Bobcat miscue.
The Bobcats quickly responded with an 8-4 run, cutting the lead to 20-19 on a block by Winchester and Beatty following three straight kills from Beatty. After Francis Marion took a 22-20 advantage on an ace by Caroline Boone, Lees-McRae answered with a 3-0 spurt to push the Patriots to set point.
Francis Marion countered with three straight points of its own, taking a 25-24 lead on a smash by Imbimbo. The teams would trade points over the next several minutes, with Francis Marion claiming a 28-27 advantage on a Mooney kill before capping the set and the match with a tandem block by Mooney and Reed.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats take on University of South Carolina Aiken and Mars Hill University on the second and final day of the FMU Tournament in Florence, S.C. The Bobcats square off with USC Aiken at 1 p.m., followed by Mars Hill at 5 p.m.
- LMC -