The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team split a pair of matches at the Lees-McRae Tournament on Friday evening, sweeping Saint's Augustine University and falling to Lander University in a four-set battle in Williams
Gymnasium. Lees-McRae (10-12) defeated Saint Augustine's (5-17) by scores of 25-16, 25-16, and 25-11, before falling to Lander (10-10) in four sets by scores of 25-20, 25-18, 22-25, and 25-23. The Bobcats posted a .182 hitting percentage on the day, including a .329 clip against Saint Augustine's, while averaging 15.14 digs and 12.14 kills per set.
Dana Oliver (Miami, Fla.) paced the Bobcats with 29 kills, while Jordan Banta (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.) added 15 and 13 smashes, respectively. Sariah Suryadevara (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted 46 digs, including a career-high 35 against Lander. Molly Corhn (Hendersonville, N.C.) recorded 73 assists, as Banta and Beatty each chipped in five blocks.
Match One: Lees-McRae 3, Saint Augustine's 0
Lees-McRae posted a sterling .329 hitting percentage in the match, recording 40 kills and five blocks while tallying four service aces. The Bobcats held Saint Augustine's to a .060 attacking clip in the contest as the Falcons turned in 30 digs and 18 assists.
Oliver led the way for Lees-McRae with 15 kills and a .464 hitting percentage, as Corhn added 34 assists and Suryadevara posted 11 digs. Beatty added seven kills and a .353 attacking clip, while Banta and Rachel Grether (Ocala, Fla.) each recorded six smashes.
Brittany Hicks paced the Falcons with seven kills, while Victoria Davis added six smashes and Chelsea Farrior and Dionna Hopkins each chipped in six digs. Juliessa Thomas posted 17 assists, while Davis recorded two block assists.
Lees-McRae rallied from an early 4-1 deficit in the first set, answering with an 18-6 surge to open a 19-11 advantage following a kill from Lauren Fox (Garland, Texas). After Saint Augustine's trimmed the margin to 21-15 with a 4-2 spurt, the Bobcats countered with a 4-1 run to close out the set on an Oliver smash.
The Bobcats carried the momentum into the second frame, opening an early 9-5 advantage on an Oliver kill. After Lees-McRae pushed the advantage to 15-10 following a Falcon miscue and Saint Augustine's answered with a 5-3 spurt to cut the lead to 18-15, the Bobcats countered with a 7-1 surge to cap the set and take a commanding 2-0 advantage in the match.
The momentum spilled over into the third set, with Lees-McRae opening the frame on a 13-4 run that was capped by a Beatty stuff. Saint Augustine's would counter with a 6-4 spurt, trimming the margin to 16-10 on a Davis kill before the Bobcats responded with a 9-1 surge to close out the set and the match following back-to-back smashes from Grether.
Match Two: Lander 3, Lees-McRae 1
Lander posted a .131 hitting percentage in the match while holding the Bobcats to a .107 clip in a battle defined by defense. The two teams combined for 162 digs and 18 blocks in the contest, as both recorded at least 10 kills in each set.
Oliver paced the Bobcats with 14 kills and nine digs, while Suryadevara chipped in a match- and career-high 35 digs. Banta added nine kills and four blocks (two solo, two assists), as Fox and Beatty turned in seven and six smashes, respectively. Corhn posted 39 assists and seven digs on the night, while Fox recorded seven digs and three block assists.
Tarryn Angermeier led the way for Lander with a match-high 17 kills, adding a contest-best eight blocks (one solo, seven assists). Hannah Dederick and Kaitlyn Harrison chipped in eight and seven kills, respectively, as Madison Kubal posted a team-high 25 digs. Jessica Register recorded a double-double with 32 assists and 16 digs, while Katelyn Kraft and Harrision added 16 and 12 digs, respectively.
The first set would prove to be a tightly contested battle, with Lees-McRae rallying from an early 10-7 deficit to even the tally at 10-10 following a block by Oliver and Fox. Lander would counter with a 9-5 spurt, taking a 19-15 advantage before the Bobcats answered with a 5-2 run to cut the margin to 21-20 on a Fox kill. The Bearcats responded with a 4-0 spurt, closing out the set on a Register dump to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Lees-McRae responded in the second, opening the frame with a 6-0 spurt before Lander answered with a 10-4 run to even the tally at 10-10 following a block by Angermeier and Harrison. The Bearcats would continue to push the tempo for the remainder of the set, widening the margin to 24-16 before capping the frame on an Angermeier smash to take a 2-0 lead in the contest.
The Bobcats countered in the third, breaking an early 5-5 deadlock with a 9-2 run to open a 14-7 lead following a smash from Banta. After Lees-McRae pushed the lead to 19-11 on a Banta service ace, Lander responded with a 10-4 run to close the gap to 23-21 following an Angermeier kill. The Bearcats would fight off a set point at 24-21 before Lees-McRae capped the set on a smash by Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) to force a fourth frame.
The fourth set would prove to be the most intense battle of the night, as Lander answered an early 4-0 run by the Bobcats with a 12-5 surge to take a 20-14 advantage following a Register ace. Lees-McRae battled back, cutting the lead to 20-18 with an Oliver smash to cap a 4-0 run.
After Lander answered with a 4-1 spurt to push the Bobcats to match point at 24-21, Lees-McRae rallied with a block by Banta and kill from Oliver to cut the lead to 24-23. Lander then capped the set and the match at 25-23 following a Bobcat miscue.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Saturday when the Bobcats host Lenoir-Rhyne University in the second-to-last match of the Lees-McRae Tournament at 3 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium.
Photo Courtesy: Sariah Suryadevara, LMC Athletics