Lees-McRae College's Joshua Jones (Christmas, Fla.) has been named the Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year, and headlines a group of six Bobcats receiving league recognition, announced conference
officials Friday. Lees-McRae (11-9, 5-5 CC) leads the conference with six all-conference selections, as Pfeiffer University, Limestone College, and Mount Olive College each placed four student-athletes on one of the three all-conference teams.
Jones garnered Freshman of the Year honors to lead the way for the Bobcats, as Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) both earned a spot on the first team. Sophomores Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio), John Lucas (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Jose Ribas (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) each garnered second team recognition.
A native of Christmas, Fla., Jones put together an impressive rookie season for the Bobcats this spring, averaging 2.30 kills per set in conference play while attacking at a .388 clip. The freshman middle blocker averaged nearly one block per frame against league opponents this season, posting 0.77 stuffs per set while ranking 25th in the nation in blocks per frame (1.05).
Ramirez continued to direct the Bobcat attack in superb fashion this spring, ranking 15th in the nation in assists per set (10.18) while averaging 11.12 helpers per frame in conference play. A native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Ramirez averaged more than a dig per set in league play this season, while also posting 0.59 blocks per frame.
Negron has shined in his sophomore season as the Bobcats primary option at the libero position, leading the nation in digs per set for much of the spring while entering the conference tournament ranked third in the land (2.66). A native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Negron put together an impressive conference season, averaging 2.45 digs per set to rank second in the league.
Harpenau has provided a tremendous two-way presence in the middle for the Bobcats this season, averaging 2.59 kills and 0.62 blocks per set in conference play. The Cincinnati, Ohio native posted a blistering .342 hitting percentage in league action, while ranking 19th in the nation with an overall clip of .301 on the attack this season.
Lucas is in the midst of a fine season in the Green and Gold, averaging 3.24 kills per set in league play to pace the Bobcats in that category. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Lucas has posted 1.58 digs and 0.42 blocks per frame in conference play this spring, while also dropping in a team-high 11 service aces.
Ribas has burst onto the scene for the Bobcats this season, posting 3.21 kills per set in conference action while ranking 25th in the nation in overall smashes per frame (3.40). The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico native averaged more than one dig per set in league play this season, while also recording 0.57 blocks per frame.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Sunday when the fourth-seeded Bobcats travel to Misenheimer, N.C. to take on top-seeded Pfeiffer University in the semifinal round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament at 3 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Joshua Jones, LMC Athletics