INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team held No. 16 Wingate University to 33 kills and a .250 hitting percentage as the Bulldogs squeaked by the Bobcats with a straight set victory on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Courts.
Wingate (8-2) won the match by scores of 25-11, 25-21, and 25-16, limiting Lees-McRae (1-11) to 25 kills and 36 digs, as the Bulldogs posted 33 smashes and nine blocks in the contest.
Senior Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) paced the Bobcats with 10 kills, as Avalon Liscio (Naples, Fla.) and Jordan Banta (Virginia Beach, Va.) added six and fives smashes, respectively. Angela Morse (Clinton Township, Mich.) chipped in a team-high 10 digs while Candace Niemiec (Huntington Beach, Calif.) posted 18 assists.
Susie Murach led the way for Wingate with 9 kills and six digs, while Cherokee Washington tallied a match-high 14 digs. Iris Brewer added 27 assists as Jenna Flanigin and Tyler Smith each recorded four block assists.
Wingate would weather an early push by the Bobcats, taking an early 6-1 lead before Lees-McRae responded with a 3-0 spurt to close the gap to two following a Liscio smash. The Bulldogs answered with a 12-3 surge, pushing the advantage to 18-7 on a Murach kill before claiming the set, 25-11.
The Bobcats battled throughout the second frame, rallying from a 21-12 deficit to cut the lead to 24-21 on a Beatty kill, as Beatty and Banta combined to fight off five set points for Lees-McRae.
Lees-McRae carried the momentum into the third, claiming a 10-9 advantage on an emphatic block by Niemiec and Haylee Leonard (Walburg, N.C.) to cap a 4-1 spurt. Wingate would answer with a 9-1 surge, taking an 18-11 lead before the Bobcats countered with a 4-0 run to close the gap to 18-15 following a pair of Banta kills and a Liscio ace.
After a well-timed break in the action, the Bulldogs responded with a 7-1 run to close out the set and the match on a tandem block from Murach and Flanigin.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Tuesday when the Bobcats travel to Greenwood, S.C. to take on Lander University in Southeast Region play at 7 p.m.
- LMC -