BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team picked up a thrilling five-set victory over King University (25-18, 25-21, 18-25, 23-25, 15-11) Saturday afternoon at Williams Gymnasium. With the victory, the Bobcats remain unbeaten on their home floor (3-0), while improving to 4-10 overall and 2-2 in Conference Carolinas play.
Set 1 – The Bobcats used their most efficient offensive effort of the match to upend the Tornado in the opening set, 25-18. As a team, the Bobcats attacked at a .303 clip and six different players registered kills. King actually held a 9-7 advantage on Lees-McRae early on before the Bobcat offense really started to click. After a King kill to make it 9-7, the Bobcats went on a 9-1 run to pull in front for good to take the opening stanza.
Set 2 – Lees-McRae and King played a much tighter set in the second. Overall, there were nine times in the second that the score was tied. Much like the first set, however, a run by the Bobcats proved to be the deciding factor. In this run, the Bobcats turned a 17-15 lead for the Tornado into a 20-18 advantage. King was able to tie the score at 20 before Lees-McRae scored five of the last six points to go up 2-0 in the match.
Set 3 – Facing a three-set defeat to the Bobcats, the Tornado responded with their best offensive performance of the match. King totaled 13 kills in the frame on 39 attacks with just three attack errors. Lees-McRae, meanwhile, nearly matched King in terms of kills with 12 but eight attack errors proved costly as the Tornado were able to win the third frame to keep the match going, 25-18.
Set 4 – Early in the fourth set it looked like the Bobcats would wrap up Saturday's match in short order. At one point, Lees-McRae led King by a score of 10-1. Credit to the Tornado as they battled and mounted a rally to come all the way back to tie the score at 20. Riding that momentum of erasing the deficit, King scored three of the last five points to force a fifth set, 25-23.
Set 5 – Like most of Saturday's match, both King and Lees-McRae took turns with the advantage in the fifth. Even with the abbreviated set, the score was tied six times and there were four different lead changes. The final lead change came when the Bobcats turned a 9-9 tie into a 13-9 lead before closing out the match, 15-11.
Stat Standouts – A trio of Bobcats finished with double figure kill totals against the Tornado. Abby Wordsworth put together her best performance in a Bobcat uniform to date collecting 16 kills on 49 attacks. Caitlyn Smirne added 12 kills and Anaya Govindji added 10 of her own. Defensively, Kaitlyn Arentz led the way with 24 digs. Smirne wasn't too far behind with 19 digs to go along with her 12 kills. Megan Gallion joined Smirne in the double-double club dishing out 30 assists and 13 digs in the contest.
Next Up – The Bobcats will be back in action next Friday when they travel to Murfreesboro, N.C. to take on Chowan. First serve between the Bobcats and Hawks is set for 7 p.m.