The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team split a pair of matches at the Carson-Newman College Tournament on Friday evening, sweeping Francis Marion University and falling to Lincoln Memorial University, 3-0, in Holt Fieldhouse.
Lincoln Memorial (3-3) won the opening match of the day against Lees-McRae (3-2) by scores of 25-15, 25-21, and 25-20 before the Bobcats defeated Francis Marion (4-2) in straight sets, 25-22, 25-17, and 25-23 to cap the evening. Lees-McRae posted a .234 hitting percentage on the day, including a .323 clip against the Patriots, while averaging 32.5 digs and 6.5 blocks in the two matches.
Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.) and Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) paced the Bobcats with 17 and 16 kills, respectively, while Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) chipped in 12 smashes. Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.) and Taylor Pritchett (Apex, N.C.) added 32 and 23 assists, respectively, as Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) recorded 23 digs. Beatty and Jordan Banta (Virginia Beach, Va.) chipped in six and five blocks, respectively, while Clendenin posted 12 digs.
Match One: Lincoln Memorial 3, Lees-McRae 0
Oliver and Clendenin led the way for Lees-McRae with eight and six kills, respectively, as Mitchell added 15 assists. Suryadevara paced the Bobcats with 10 digs, while Banta and Beatty each posted three block assists.
Blaire Fowler and Kendra Gephart paced Lincoln Memorial with nine and eight kills, respectively, while Allison Beavers added 19 assists. Brittany Pugh nearly posted a double-double with 13 assists and eight digs, as Kristen Cantrell dug out a team-high nine Bobcat attacks.
Lincoln Memorial rallied from an early 3-1 deficit in the first set, going on a 15-8 run to take a 16-11 advantage following a Bobcat miscue. After Lees-McRae trimmed the margin to 16-13 on a dump by Mitchell, Lincoln Memorial answered with a 9-2 surge to close out the set and take a 1-0 lead in the match on a kill by Gephart.
The Railsplitters carried the momentum into the second frame, opening the set with a 7-2 run before Lees-McRae countered with a 13-10 spurt, closing the gap to 17-15 following an LMU miscue. Lincoln Memorial responded with an 8-6 run, closing out the set and taking a 2-0 advantage in the contest on back-to-back kills by Fowler.
Lincoln Memorial opened the third set with a 10-5 run, capping the surge on back-to-back kills by Kaitlin Walton before a pair of Clendenin smashes kick-started a 10-5 Bobcat spurt to even the score at 15-15. The Railsplitters responded with a 9-3 run to take a 24-18 lead, capping the spurt on a pair of kills from Fowler before claiming the set and the match with a 25-20 win in the frame.
Match Two: Lees-McRae 3, Francis Marion 0
Clendenin paced the Bobcats with 10 kills on 26 swings, posting a .346 hitting percentage as Beatty added eight smashes and a .583 clip on the attack. Pritchett and Mitchell added 17 assists each, while Suryadevara and Clendenin chipped in 13 and eight digs, respectively. Oliver recorded nine kills of her own in the match, as Pritchett and Suryadevara added four and three service aces, respectively.
Liz Drewry led the way for Francis Marion with 10 kills, while Jessica Imbimbo and Paige Perreault added seven and six smashes, respectively. Meghan Peji chipped in a match-high 15 digs, as Kailey Smith posted 15 assists and seven digs.
Lees-McRae stormed out of the gate in the first set, taking a 14-11 lead on the heels of a 6-0 run that was capped by back-to-back aces from Pritchett. After the Patriots evened the score at 14-14 and took the lead at 20-19, Lees-McRae answered with a 6-3 spurt to claim the set following a Patriot miscue.
The Bobcats carried the momentum into the second set, taking a 15-10 lead on a Pritchett ace before pushing the margin to 21-15 following a Patriot miscue. Lees-McRae then closed out the set with a 4-2 spurt, claiming a 2-0 lead in the match on a smash by Beatty.
Francis Marion countered in the third set, taking an 8-5 lead on a kill by Sloane Shank. The Patriots would push the margin to 18-12 before Lees-McRae countered with an 11-3 surge, claiming a 23-21 advantage following a service ace from Oliver to cap a 4-0 spurt. Francis Marion answered with back-to-back kills by Imbimbo and Perreault, evening the tally at 23-23 before the Bobcats closed out the set and the match on a Patriot miscue.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats close out the Carson-Newman Tournament with a 4 p.m. matchup against Armstrong Atlantic State University in Jefferson City, Tenn.
Photo Courtesy: Taylor Clendenin, LMC Athletics