The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team rallied from a pair of early deficits and withstood a furious rally in the second frame en route to a straight-set sweep of Pfeiffer University on Saturday afternoon in Conference Carolinas play.
Lees-McRae (18-6, 13-0 CC) won the match by scores of 25-15, 29-27, and 25-12, pushing its winning streak to 16 matches overall and 44 straight victories in conference play. The Bobcats posted a .259 hitting percentage for the match, while holding Pfeiffer (7-10, 4-6 CC) to a .053 clip on the attack.
Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) and Megan Epperson (St. John, Ind.) each tallied nine kills in the match, as Clendenin posted a .467 hitting percentage. Lauren Fox (Garland, Texas) and Jessica Singewald (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) chipped in seven and six kills, respectively, while Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) added a match-high 31 assists to go along with four kills and two service aces. Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted match-highs of 11 digs and four service aces, while Epperson and Clendenin added eight digs and three aces, respectively.
Kelly Lancellot and Milana Mervosh paced the Falcons with four kills each, as Kaci Markham and Cate Glendenning added six and five digs, respectively. Glendenning also tallied 16 assists for Pfeiffer.
The Bobcats rebounded from an early 8-3 deficit in the first set with a 10-1 run, claiming a 13-9 advantage on a service ace by Taylor Pritchett (Apex, N.C.). After Pfeiffer trimmed the margin to 13-11 on a Blauser kill, Lees-McRae went on a 9-2 run to open a 22-13 lead before Singewald closed out the 25-15 first-set win with a kill.
Lees-McRae engaged in a heated battle with Pfeiffer for the second set, as the Falcons rallied late in the frame to erase a 23-19 deficit and even the tally at 23-23 on an Amerell kill. After the Bobcats answered to push the Falcons to the brink at 24-23, Pfeiffer fought off four set points in a stretch that featured a trio of kills from Clendenin. Following a Pfeiffer miscue that gave the Bobcats a slim 28-27 lead, Singewald shut the door with a kill to give Lees-McRae a commanding 2-0 advantage in the match.
The Bobcats rallied from an early deficit once again in the third set, launching an 11-2 run to claim a 14-9 lead on a Pfeiffer service error after opening the frame in a 7-3 hole. After Pfeiffer trimmed the margin to 14-10, the Bobcats went on an 8-1 run to take a commanding 22-11 lead in the set following a Falcon error and an ace from Suryadevara. The Bobcats then closed out the set and the match with a 3-1 spurt to take the frame, 25-12, on a service ace from Mitchell.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats host North Greenville University in a conference matchup at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
Sullivan strike lifts Bobcats over Trojans, 1-0
Sophomore MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) scored her 10th goal of the season in the 65th minute to lead the Lees-McRae College women's soccer team to a pivotal 1-0 win over Mount Olive College in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday evening.
Lees-McRae (10-2-1, 9-0 CC) outshot Mount Olive (8-3-1, 7-2 CC) by a 23-5 margin, including an 11-2 advantage in the first half, as the Bobcats opened a two-game lead at the top of the conference standings with just three matches remaining. The Bobcats, ranked ninth in this week's NSCAA/Continental Tires NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Southeast Region Poll, registered their first victory over a regionally-ranked opponent in Cally Morrill's tenure at the helm, as Mount Olive began the week ranked eighth in the region.
Sullivan tallied the lone goal of the match, reclaiming the team-lead with her 10th strike of the season. Freshman Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) recorded two saves while playing the full 90 minutes as the rookie goalkeeper kept her eighth clean sheet of the campaign.
The match remained scoreless until the closing seconds of the 65th minute, when LeeAnn Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) fed the ball through to her sister MaryBeth on the left flank. MaryBeth Sullivan then made a run along the top of the box across the face of goal, putting herself in perfect position to send a blast into the upper 90 from 12 yards distance to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
The Bobcats would hold the narrow margin for the duration of the match, denying several forward runs by the Trojans en route to their ninth shutout of the season.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Wednesday when the Bobcats host Erskine College in a conference matchup at Tate Field. The match is slated to kick off at 5 p.m. following the Bobcats' senior night festivities.
Galvani treble highlights Bobcat comeback over Trojans, 4-3
Sophomore James Galvani (High Wycombe, England) converted a penalty kick eight seconds into the 96th minute to complete his first hat trick of the season, and lead the Lees-McRae College men's soccer team to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Mount Olive College on Saturday evening in Conference Carolinas action.
Lees-McRae (10-3-1, 7-1 CC) outshot Mount Olive (5-9, 4-4 CC) by a 21-7 margin, including an 11-4 advantage in the first half, while scoring three unanswered goals to erase a 3-1 halftime deficit en route to its sixth straight victory.
Galvani continued his torrid scoring pace of late, registering his first treble of the season to run his goal-scoring total of the last five matches to nine. Freshman Scott Alford (Hillsborough, N.C.) tallied another clutch goal for the Bobcats, nodding home the equalizer with less than a minute remaining in regulation to force extra time.
Fellow rookie James Smith (Eastbourne, England) recorded a season-high two assists, while John Williams (Rutherfordton, England) added a helper of his own. Sophomore Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) made three saves on the night between the pipes for the Bobcats.
Omar Shazly scored a brace to lead Mount Olive, finding the back of the net with each of his two attempts at goal as Tanner Tolston registered the Trojans' first goal. Vieux Sarr, Frank Boateng, Tyler Jameson, and Murilo Pelegrino each tallied an assist in the match, as Kyle Lavender registered 12 saves in goal for the Trojans.
Galvani opened the scoring early in the first half, putting the Bobcats up 1-0 midway through the 17th minute when Williams' shot attempt rebounded off the keeper and fell to him at the goal mouth. Tolston answered in the 30th minute, pulling the Trojans back on terms off a Jameson free kick to knot the contest at 1-1.
Shazly put Mount Olive ahead 40 seconds later, taking a through ball from Sarr and beating the keeper on a breakaway to give the Trojans a 2-1 advantage. The freshman forward doubled the advantage late in the 37th minute, splitting two defenders following a combined feed from Pelegrino and Boateng before slotting home the finish to send the Trojans into the interval with a 3-1 lead.
Galvani brought the Bobcats back within one midway through the 48th minute, banging a rebound into the back of the net off a Smith shot to cut the Mount Olive advantage to 3-2. The Bobcats would dictate proceedings for much of the second half, outshooting the Trojans by a 9-3 margin in the period.
Mount Olive looked certain to hold on for the victory until the final minute, when Smith swung a corner kick to the far post with 30 seconds left in regulation, finding Alford for the free header to send the match into extra time knotted at 3-3.
The extra time period proved uneventful until the early moments of the 96th minute, when a Bobcat cross came in contact with a Trojan defenders hand inside the area, prompting the referee to point to the spot and award a penalty kick for Lees-McRae. Galvani calmly stepped to the ball and delivered a perfect penalty, slotting it into the bottom corner for the winner.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Wednesday when the Bobcats host Erskine College in a conference matchup at Tate Field. The match is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. following the Bobcats' senior night festivities.
Werner wins XC race, paces Bobcats at SECCC Mountain Bike Championships
Kerry Werner (Birdsboro, Pa.) ran away with the men's "A" cross country race on Saturday morning, crossing the finish line more than six minutes ahead of teammate Bradford Perley (Kennebunkport, Maine) to lead the Lees-McRae College cycling team to a solid performance on the first day of the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference Mountain Bike Championships.
Werner posted the top time of the day in the men's "A" cross country race, crossing the finish line with a time of 1:42:50 to beat out Perley's second-place mark of 1:48:53. Ezra Mullen (Nottingham, N.H.) finished fifth with a time of 1:54:39.
Davis Bentley and Trevor MacLean (Westport, Conn.) finished ninth and 10th, respectively with times of 1:58:57 and 1:59:07 as the Bobcats placed five riders in the top 10. Joseph Welsh (Cordova, Tenn.) and Nathan Larson (Erie, Pa.) placed 12th and 15th, respectively to round out the field for Lees-McRae.
Wes Rhoads (Huntington, W.Va.) finished third in the men's "B" race with a time of 1:25:53, as Chris Bennett and Michael Nichols placed sixth and seventh, respectively, with marks of 1:33:06 and 1:33:34. Matthew Zimmer (DeWitt, Iowa) and Jake Boone (Hurst, Texas) also finished ninth and 10th, respectively with times of 1:35:43 and 1:42:30, as Zac Felpel (Willow St., Pa.) placed 14th with a mark of 1:48:28.
Erica Zaveta (Erwinna, Pa.) posted the top finish of the morning in the women's "A" race, crossing the line in third place with a time of 2:06:38. Mackenzie Filippi (Cary, N.C.) also finished fourth in the women's "B" race with a time of 48:15, just one second behind the third-place rider.
Eric Bercume (Barre, Mass.) turned in the Bobcats' top performance in the men's "A" dual slalom, placing 11th with a time of 0:30.57, as Carter Luck finished 14th with a mark of 0:31.06. Werner followed his win in the cross country event with a 20th-place performance in the dual slalom, posting a time of 0:31.63 while Nathan Larson (Erie, Pa.) finished 28th with a mark of 0:33.53.
Felpel finished second the men's "B" race, posting a time of 0:31.98 as Bentley and Nichols finished 11th and 14th, respectively, with marks of 0:34.39 and 0:34.88. Adam Downs (Eaton, Ohio) and Boone also finished first and second, respectively, in the men's "C" race.
Zaveta followed her third-place performance in the cross country race by finishing sixth in the women's "A" dual slalom, posting a time of 0:37.48. Cinthia Lehner (Greer, S.C.) also finished ninth with a time of 0:41.84 to round out the day for the Bobcats.
Lees-McRae returns to the course on Sunday for the final day of the SECCC Mountain Bike Championships, which is expected to feature the short track competition in the morning, followed by the downhill races in the afternoon.