Women's Volleyball

Crusaders rally past Bobcats in epic five-set battle

Crusaders rally past Bobcats in epic five-set battle

TIGERVILLE, S.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team and North Greenville University engaged in an epic five-set battle in Conference Carolinas play on Friday evening, each rallying from a set down as North Greenville claimed the fourth and fifth frames en route to a narrow 3-2 victory.

North Greenville (2-12, 1-3 CC) won the match by scores of 25-13, 21-25, 22-25, 25-16, and 16-14, posting 75 digs and 47 kills as Lees-McRae (1-13, 0-3 CC) tallied 41 smashes 66 digs, holding the Crusaders to a .148 clip on the attack.

Avalon Liscio (Naples, Fla.) and Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) paced the Bobcats with nine kills each, as Haylee Leonard (Walburg, N.C.) posted seven smashes and no errors for a .500 hitting percentage. Molly Corhn (Hendersonville, N.C.) added a match-high 18 digs, while Candace Niemiec (Huntington Beach, Calif.) chipped in 30 assists.

Lauren Fox (Garland, Texas) tallied a trio of service aces as Jordan Banta (Virginia Beach, Va.) recorded eight kills and a match-high seven blocks (six solo, one assist).

Yomi Adeyeye led the way for North Greenville with a match-high 15 kills, as Taylor Dupes added a double-double with 14 digs and 10 smashes. Codiann Amis and Megan Steading posted 17 and 16 digs, respectively, as Elizabeth James chipped in a double-double with 14 digs and a match-high 35 assists. Rachel Burts recorded 10 kills and six block assists.

The Crusaders jumped out to an early lead in the first set, opening the match with an 8-2 run before stretching the advantage to 15-6. North Greenville would hold the Bobcats at bay for the remainder of the set, claiming a 1-0 margin in the match with a 25-13 first-frame victory.

Lees-McRae answered in the second, surging to an early 7-1 advantage before North Greenville responded with a 15-9 run to even the tally at 16-16. After the Crusaders claimed a narrow 19-18 lead following a pair of Bobcat miscues, Lees-McRae countered with a 7-2 spurt, evening the match at 1-1 with a 25-21 win on a trio of aces from Fox.

North Greenville reversed the momentum in the opening stages of the third set, taking a 5-2 lead before the Bobcats countered with three straight points, evening the tally at 5-5 following an Angela Morse (Clinton Township, Mich.) smash. The remainder of the set proved to be a grid out battle, featuring four ties and three lead changes before the Bobcats regained control. Beatty would give the Bobcats a narrow 24-23 advantage before a Crusader miscue gave Lees-McRae a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Crusaders answered in the fourth, jumping out to an early 6-2 margin before the Bobcats countered with a 7-4 spurt to trim the lead to 10-9. North Greenville responded with an 11-4 surge, pushing the advantage to 21-13 before claiming the set, 25-16, to force a decisive fifth frame.

The fifth set would prove to be the most tightly contested of the night, with the teams trading one-point advantages in the early going before North Greenville took a 10-7 lead. Lees-McRae quickly answered with three straight points, evening the tally at 10-10 before an emphatic smash by Banta gave the Bobcats match point at 14-13.

North Greenville responded with a 3-0 spurt, fighting back with kills from Adeyeye and Gabby Sehres before claiming the set and the match on a Bobcat miscue.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Due West, S.C. to take on Erskine College in league play at 10 a.m., followed by a 12 p.m. neutral site matchup with USC Aiken.

- LMC -