Senior Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) tallied a match-high 16 kills to move into third on the program's all-time list on Saturday afternoon, pacing four players in double figures as the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team
outlasted Erskine College in four sets in Conference Carolinas action. Lees-McRae (6-6, 3-2 CC) won the match by scores of 25-19, 25-14, 19-25, and 25-21, posting a .276 hitting percentage while limiting Erskine (3-7, 3-2 CC) to a .074 clip on the attack. The Bobcats posted 68 digs, 58 kills, and 55 assists to go along with nine aces and six blocks in a hard-fought match between two of the top teams in the conference. Erskine recorded 55 digs, 31 kills, and 29 assists in the contest while posting five blocks.
Clendenin paced the Bobcats with 16 kills, moving into third on the program's all-time list with 1,056 smashes in her career. The senior outside hitter added 11 digs on the day, recording a double-double as sophomore Taylor Pritchett (Apex, N.C.) nearly notched a triple-double with 11 digs, six aces, and a match- and career-high 47 assists.
Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) chipped in 12 kills and a blistering .588 hitting percentage, as Rachel Grether (Ocala, Fla.) and Angela Morse (Clinton Township, Mich.) each posted 10 kills. Grether also added 10 digs to record a double-double, while Morse, Beatty, and Jordan Banta (Virginia Beach, Va.) each chipped in three block assists.
Larz Chabra led the way for Erskine with eight kills and 20 assists, while Lauren Stewart and Liz Massey chipped in seven and six smashes, respectively. Bailey Thornton chipped in a match-high 16 digs, as Stewart and Massey each dug out 11 Bobcat attacks. Stewart and Kelly Sullivan both posted three block assists in the contest.
Lees-McRae never trailed in the first set, opening a 16-11 lead on kills by Morse, Grether and Beatty to cap a 10-6 run. After the Bobcats stretched the margin to 22-17 on a trio of Clendenin smashes and a Morse-Grether block, Beatty capped the set with an emphatic kill to give Lees-McRae a 1-0 lead in the match.
Erskine countered early in the second set, taking a 9-5 lead before the Bobcats responded with a 15-3 surge, taking a 20-12 lead following a service ace from Pritchett. The Fleet would trim the margin to 21-14 before the Bobcats answered, closing out the set on a pair of kills from Beatty to take a commanding 2-0 advantage in the match.
Lees-McRae jumped out to an early 6-3 lead in the third before Erskine responded with a 12-6 run, taking a 15-12 advantage following a Bobcat miscue. After the Fleet pushed the margin to 20-15 and the Bobcats countered with a kill by Grether, Erskine closed out the set with a 5-2 run to cut the advantage to 2-1 in the match.
The Bobcats responded in the fourth, breaking an 8-8 deadlock with a 9-1 surge to open a 17-9 advantage following a pair of smashes from Clendenin. Erskine fought back, cutting the lead to 22-17 on a block by Stewart and Sullivan to cap an 8-5 spurt.
After Clendenin answered with her 16th smash of the afternoon, the Fleet countered with a 4-0 run to trim the margin to 23-21 following a pair of Bobcat miscues. Lees-McRae responded with back-to-back points, capping the set and the match on Pritchett's sixth ace of the day and 13th of the weekend.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday, September 28 when the Bobcats travel to Wilson, N.C. to take on Barton College in league play at 7 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Taylor Clendenin, LMC Athletics