The Coker College men's volleyball team held visiting Lees-McRae College to a .145 hitting percentage en route to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Bobcats in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday evening.
Coker (4-8, 2-6 CC) won the match by scores of 25-21, 25-18, 15-25, and 28-26, posting a hitting percentage of .101 while recording 44 kills and nine service aces in the victory. Lees-McRae (11-5, 7-5 CC) hit .145 in the contest, including clips of .278 and .276 in the third and fourth sets, respectively, while tallying 16 blocks.
Jose Ribas (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) paced the Bobcats with nine kills, as Joshua Jones (Christmas, Fla.) posted eight smashes, a .385 hitting percentage, and a match-high five block assists. John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) added five kills, while Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) chipped in four solo stuffs.
Jared Geizer led the way for Coker with a match-high 19 kills, as Luke Hansen added 12 smashes and a contest-best seven digs. Ricardo Ferrer chipped in match-highs of 35 assists and three aces for the Cobras.
The Cobras started off strong in the first set, taking an early 11-8 lead before Ribas countered with back-to-back kills to cut the advantage to 11-10. Coker answered quickly with a 6-1 spurt, pushing the margin to 17-11 before Lees-McRae responded once again, launching a 9-6 run to close the gap to 23-20 following a Ribas smash. The Cobras would counter with two of the next three points, claiming the set and a 1-0 lead in the match on a Hansen kill.
Coker carried the momentum into the second frame, opening the set with a 15-6 surge that was capped by a solo block from Chris Thomas. Lees-McRae answered with a 9-3 run, cutting the lead to 18-15 following a stuff by Drew Blecher (York, Pa.). Coker countered with a 7-3 spurt of its own, taking the set and a commanding 2-0 lead in the match on a Geizer kill.
The Bobcats answered in the third, taking an early 10-3 lead on a Lucas smash before pushing the advantage to 18-8 following an ace from Ribas. Lees-McRae would close out the set from there, capping the frame with a block by Ribas and Jones to halve the match margin to 2-1.
The fourth set proved to be a tightly contested battle, with Coker taking an early 12-9 advantage before the Bobcats answered with a 5-1 spurt, claiming a narrow 14-13 lead following a block by Lucas and Jones. After Coker countered with two quick points to take a 15-14 advantage, Lees-McRae responded with a 7-4 run, opening a 21-19 lead on a Cobra miscue.
Coker answered with a 4-1 spurt, claiming a 23-22 advantage before the Bobcats countered with back-to-back points, pushing the Cobras to set point at 24-23 following a solo stuff by Harpenau. After Coker evened the tally at 24-24 and Harpenau gave the Bobcats another set point with an emphatic smash, the Cobras countered with a 4-1 run to claim the frame and the match on a Bobcat miscue.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Monday when the Bobcats host Lourdes University in non-conference play at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
Photo Courtesy: Joshua Jones, LMC Athletics