The Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team opened the Conference Carolinas season in dominating fashion on Sunday afternoon, sweeping Barton College while posting a blistering .438 hitting percentage. Lees-McRae (3-3, 1-0 CC) won the match by scores
of 25-19, 25-15, and 25-15, posting its second straight victory while recording 40 kills, 12 service aces and a hitting percentage of .438. The Bobcats held Barton (0-7, 0-4 CC) to a .152 clip on the attack, as each team posted six blocks.
Joshua Jones (Christmas, Fla.) was a perfect 9-for-9 on the attack to pace the Bobcats, while Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Edmund Walkley (Glenbrook, Australia) added six and five smashes, respectively. Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) chipped in five kills and match-highs of 31 assists and three blocks, as Chris Flood (Louisville, Ky.) and Jose Ribas (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) each posted a contest-best four service aces.
Zach McCalla led the way for Barton with six kills, as Alx Draughan and T.J. Daley each added four smashes. Jordan Robison chipped in 15 assists, as Tyler Malpass and Tanner Medina each posted a match-high three blocks.
Barton kicked off the match with a strong 8-4 run, capping the spurt with a kill by McCalla before the Bobcats responded with a 15-8 surge, claiming a 19-16 lead on a Ribas service ace. The Bobcats would close out the frame with a 6-2 spurt, taking the set by a score of 25-19 on an ace by Flood.
Lees-McRae carried the momentum into the second set, surging out to an early 10-2 lead on three-straight aces by Ribas. The Bobcats would push the margin to 19-7 with a 9-5 run before Barton answered with a 5-2 spurt to close the gap to 21-12. After the Bobcats widened the lead to 24-13, Barton fought off a pair of set points before Lees-McRae claimed the set on a Bulldog miscue.
The Bobcats opened the third set with a 9-3 surge, claiming an early six-point lead before pushing the margin to 18-9 with a 9-6 run, which was capped by a Walkley kill. After Barton trimmed the margin to 22-14 with a 5-4 spurt, Lees-McRae closed out the set and the match on a kill by Jones to cap the 25-15 third-frame win.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Friday, February 10 when the Bobcats travel to Springfield, Mass. to take on California Baptist University at the 2012 Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic.
Photo Courtesy: Matt Harpenau, LMC Athletics