The Mount Olive College men’s volleyball team posted a hitting percentage of .446, and won the first two sets en route to a 3-1 win over Lees-McRae College in Conference Carolinas play on Friday night in Williams Gymnasium. Mount Olive (13-12, 5-2 CC) won the match by scores of 25-23, 25-23, 20-25, and 25-22, hitting
.446 on the attack while posting 54 kills, 37 digs, and 12 blocks. Lees-McRae (8-7, 3-3 CC) recorded a hitting percentage of .298 on the night, while notching 60 kills, 18 digs, and three blocks.
Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) paced the Bobcats with 17 kills and a .519 hitting percentage, posting a pair of blocks (one solo, one assist), as Jose Ribas (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio) added 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Joshua Jones (Christmas, Fla.) chipped in 10 kills, while Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) recorded five smashes and a match-high 52 assists.
Adam Miracle led the way for Mount Olive with a match-high 21 kills, hitting .545 as Alex Rivero and Tim Ebbecke added 14 and 10 smashes, respectively. Dan Arnold chipped in a match-high 16 digs, as Jackson Metichecchia and Ebbecke posted 46 assists and eight blocks (three solo, five assists), respectively. Lees-McRae jumped out to an early 10-6 lead in the first set, opening the four-point advantage following a solo block by Harpenau. The Trojans answered with a 14-8 run, claiming a 20-18 lead on a Miracle kill. Mount Olive would hold the margin for the remainder of the set, taking a 1-0 advantage in the match following a smash by Miracle.
The Bobcats countered in the second, taking a 15-12 lead following a kill by Ribas before Mount Olive fought back with a 7-2 run, claiming a 19-17 advantage following a Bobcat miscue. Lees-McRae answered with a 6-3 spurt of its own, retaking the lead at 23-22 on a kill by Lucas. Mount Olive would respond once again, tallying three straight points to take the set and a 2-0 lead in the match following a Miracle kill.
Lees-McRae fought back in the third, opening a 16-11 advantage on back-to-back Trojan errors. After Mount Olive rallied to trim the margin to 17-15 on a block by Mettichechhia and Jack Tutty, Lees-McRae answered with a 7-3 spurt to push the lead to 24-18 on back-to-back kills from Lucas and Jones. The Bobcats then closed out the set on a kill by Chris Flood (Louisville, Ky.).
The fourth set proved to be a tightly contested affair, with Mount Olive opening an early 11-8 advantage before Lees-McRae answered with a 6-2 spurt to claiming a narrow 14-13 lead following a trio of Trojan errors. Mount Olive would respond with a 6-3 run, taking a 19-17 advantage before pushing the margin to 24-21 following a Bobcat miscue. The Trojans then closed out the set and the match on a kill by Lukas Hoelzl.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Sunday when the Bobcats host Barton College in conference play at 3 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
Photo Courtesy: Matt Harpenau, LMC Athletics