Senior Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) recorded a match-high 14 kills to lead the Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team to a straight-set sweep of King College in Conference Carolinas
play on Wednesday evening, as the Bobcats celebrated Teal Night in Williams Gymnasium.
Prior to first serve, the Bobcats paid tribute to a former teammate, celebrating the life of Meme Mckensie Brown, who passed away on October 15, 2012 following a strong and courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Brown joined the Bobcat family in the fall of 2009, playing two seasons on the women's volleyball team before transferring to nearby Appalachian State University to major in nursing following her diagnosis.
Lees-McRae (11-14, 7-6 CC) won the match by scores of 25-18, 25-9, and 25-23, posting a .349 hitting percentage while limiting King (13-13, 7-6 CC) to a .067 clip on the attack. The Bobcats recorded 42 kills, 41 digs, eight blocks, and six service aces in the contest, while holding the Tornado to 29 digs and 24 smashes.
Clendenin paced the Bobcats with 14 kills on 21 attempts, posting a blistering .619 hitting percentage whille adding six digs and a block assist. Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) chipped in match-highs of 35 assists and five aces, as Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) posted nine kills and a .692 hitting percentage. Lauren Fox (Garland, Texas) recorded a match-high five blocks (one solo, four assists), while Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) added a contest-best 14 digs and Rachel Grether (Ocala, Fla.) chipped in eight kills.
Summer Kremer led the way for King with eight kills, while Olivia Underwood added 20 assists and Maribeth Kern chipped in 11 digs.
Lees-McRae started off strong, opening the first set on a 7-4 run before King countered with a 5-1 spurt to take a narrow 9-8 advantage on back-to-back aces by Payton Tipton. The Bobcats would answer with a 10-6 run, claiming an 18-15 lead following a Grether kill. After Clendenin pushed the margin to 21-17 with back-to-back kills and King responded with a smash from Kern, Lees-McRae closed out the set with a 4-0 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match following a Mitchell ace.
The Bobcats would carry the momentum into the second set, opening the frame on a 9-0 run before pushing the advantage to 21-6 with a 10-3 surge. Lees-McRae would close out the set from there, capping the frame on a Beatty kill and a King miscue to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-9 second-set win.
King battled back early in the third, taking a narrow 9-7 advantage following an Olivia Underwood dump before pushing the lead to 17-14 after a block by Kremer and Grace Underwood. Lees-McRae would answer with a 6-2 spurt, claiming a narrow 20-19 lead on a block by Mitchell and Fox before King countered with three straight points to seize a 22-20 advantage.
Clendenin answered for the Bobcats, smashing four straight kills to push King to match point at 24-22 with her 13th smash of the evening. After the Tornado countered with a pair of blocks to even the tally at 24-24, Clendenin and Grether answered with back-to-back kills to cap the set and the match for the Bobcats.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats host Pfeiffer University in league play at 12 p.m. The Bobcats will honor seniors Clendenin, Mitchell, and Dana Oliver (Miami, Fla.) prior to first serve in their last regular season match in Williams Gymnasium.
Photo Courtesy: Taylor Clendenin, LMC Athletics