Lees-McRae sophomore Brady Markle notched a team-high 11 kills, but LMC fell to No. 13 Ball State, 19-25, 19-25, 29-27, 3-25, in its final non-conference match of the year at Worthen Arena in Muncie, Ind.
The Cardinals (14-5) won their seventh consecutive match while hitting at a .429 clip in the final set. The Bobcats (12-9) concluded a challenging nonconference slate while Josh Cothron (Bradenton, Fla.) tallied five block assists.
Senior Sam Sheers (Centerville, Ohio) capped off a 4-0 run from LMC to put the visitors up, 11-7 in the opening set.
However, BSU responded and tied it at 13 thanks to consecutive LMC attack errors.
The remainder of the set was a back-and-forth battle while Markle (York, Pa.) smashed a kill to knot it up at 18.
The Cardinals finished the set on a 7-1 run thanks to impress play from the front line.
Tied at nine in the second set, BSU ripped off a 7-0 run to create some breathing room, 17-10.
Senior duo Kevin Morrison (Norfolk, Va.) and Matt Harpenau (Cincinnati, Ohio) stuffed a Marcin Miemczewski kill attempt to shave the deficit to four, 23-19. The Cardinals responded with a kill and one of their 11 service aces to claim the set.
The third set was tightly-contested while neither team led by no more than two points for the duration.
Morrison banged down a kill to give LMC a small 18-16 lead.
The Bobcats staved off set and match point when Markle and Sheers delivered consecutive kills to knot it at 24, after trailing 24-22.
Randy Ramirez (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) got in the mix with a kill while the Bobcats fended off match point once again.
Harpenau cranked out a kill prior to a block from Cothron and Sheers to wrap up an intense third set, 29-27.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the final set. Sheers delivered the Bobcats last kill of the evening to make it 12-3. BSU used a 13-0 run to claim the set and the match.
Efrain Negron (Caguas, Puerto Rico) kept busy with a 17-dig performance while Ramirez dished out 26 assists.
The Bobcats return home for the first time in over a month to battle Mount Olive in Conference Carolinas action March 21 at 7 p.m. in Williams Gymnasium. LMC is undefeated at home (4-0).
Bobcats Fall in Rebel Spring Games Finale
The Lees-McRae softball team jumped out a lead in the third inning, but was unable to sustain the lead in a 9-1 loss to Caldwell College to conclude the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. Saturday morning.
The Cougars (3-1) scored all nine of their runs in the last two innings while amassing 11 hits. The Bobcats (4-20) pitching staff looked as if they were working on consecutive shutouts until the sixth inning.
Tori Wright (Boone, N.C.) and Kendall Fowler (Buford, Ga.) notched back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the third and both advanced on wild pitches. Sarah Stallings (Greensboro, N.C.) reached on an error while Wright scored the Bobcats' lone run.
The Cougars Brielle Reighn tied the contest at one with an RBI single in the top of the sixth before a sacrifice fly and RBI double from the next two batters gave Caldwell a 3-1 advantage.
Lauren Frye delivered the big blow with a two-run single before Taylor Billings (Sophia, N.C.) froze Kate Hogan to end the frame.
LMC threatened in the bottom of the sixth while two runners reached, but a fielder's choice ended it with two outs.
An Alyssa Calderon RBI single extended the Cougar lead to 7-1.
A fielding mishap led to two unearned runs while Caldwell claimed the victory.
Fowler and Billings notched a pair of hits each while Billings suffered the loss after tossing all but two outs and allowing three earned runs.
LMC returns to action March 18 for a doubleheader in Athens, W. Va., to play Concord at 2 & 4 p.m.
Women's Tennis Blanked by Pfeiffer
The Lees-McRae women's tennis team dropped a 9-0 decision at Pfeiffer in Conference Carolinas action at the Knapp Tennis Center in Misenheimer, N.C. Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons (10-0, 2-0 CC) remained perfect while claiming all doubles matches by an identical 8-2 score. The Bobcats (1-8, 0-2) was unable to secure a point despite strong play from Caroline Green (Columbia, Tenn.).
Green battled Valeria Mendoza at No. 3 singles and dropped the first set, 6-1 before falling in a tightly-contested second set, 6-4.
Freshman Jordan Mayer (Timberlake, N.C.) notched a pair of game wins in each set, but fell 6-2, 6-2 in No. 6 singles.
The Bobcats return to action March 18 to battle King (Tenn.) in a Conference Carolinas bout in Bristol, Tenn.
LMC Men Lose To Pfeiffer, 8-1
Lees-McRae junior Hang Lak Choi rallied from a set down to grab a win at No. 4 singles, but LMC fell to Pfeiffer, 8-1, in Conference Carolinas play Saturday afternoon at the Knapp Tennis Center in Misenheimer, N.C.
The Falcons (8-2, 1-1) grinded their way to their first conference win while two doubles bouts needed extra play. The Bobcats (3-6, 0-2) saw their one match win streak snapped while No. 2 and 3 singles were tightly-contested.
Sophomore Joao Araujo (Curitiba, Puerto Rico) fell shot in an intense bout at No. 2 singles against Axel Woerner, 6-3, 6-4.
Choi (Newton, N.C.) dropped the first set, 5-7 and was trailing the second, 0-2, when Jimmy Molina bowed out at No. 4 singles.
Carlos Pinel (Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil) and Choi dropped a heartbreaker in No. 2 doubles, 9-8.
Araujo and Taduez Poplawski (Asheville, N.C.) suffered the same fate, 9-7, in No. 1 singles.
The Bobcats return to action at 2 p.m. March 18 in Bristol, Tenn. to battle King (Tenn.) in a Conference Carolinas match.