Photo Courtesy of Gerry Wall
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the third time in its past four matches, the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team picked up a 3-0 victory over its opponent as the Bobcats swept Converse College Saturday in straight sets (25-23, 25-18, 25-19). The win moves LMC's record to 6-16 overall and 3-9 in Conference Carolinas play.
Set 1: Defense ruled in Saturday's opening frame. Converse and Lees-McRae combined for 53 digs and the two squads posted hitting percentages of .093 and .106, respectively. The turning point in the frame came with the score knotted at 18. That's when the Bobcats picked up five of their next seven points with kills from four different players on their way to a 25-23 win over the Valkyries.
Set 2: Lees-McRae got things going offensively in the second hitting a match-high .378 with 17 kills on 37 attempts. LMC was not only efficient but it was also varied as six different players notched at least a pair of kills in the frame. The trio of Elissa Small, Rachel Cutshaw and Lauren Arnold paced these efforts with three kills each. Backed by the stellar offense, the Bobcats went on to take the second set, 25-18.
Set 3: Converse was able to slow the Bobcat offense down a bit in the third but it still was not enough as Lees-McRae finished off the match with a 25-19 win. Kaci Thornton paced LMC in the third frame with four kills on five attempts for a .800 hitting percentage, while also chipping in two aces and three digs. Small, Arnold and Caitlyn Smirne also hit .429 or higher in the third to lead Lees-McRae to the match-clinching set victory.
Stat Standouts: Senior Madison Martin picked up her seventh 20-plus dig performance of the season with 22 digs Saturday. Small led all Bobcat attackers with 11 kills, while Arnold was not far behind with eight kills of her own to go along with a .545 hitting percentage. Setting up Small, Arnold and the rest of the LMC's offense was Courtney Weathersbee who finished with 30 assists. Fellow senior Johnaliz Cotte provided a boost for the Bobcats from the service line with a season-high four aces.
Next Up: The Bobcats will return to action next Tuesday when they close out their non-conference schedule with a road match at Fayetteville State. First serve between the Bobcats and Broncos is set for 6 p.m.