Photo Courtesy of Sammy Croft
BELMONT, N.C. – Despite getting a 19-kill effort from senior outside hitter John Sobel, the Lees-McRae College men's volleyball team fell in four sets to Belmont Abbey (26-24, 18-25, 25-19, 25-21) Wednesday afternoon. The loss moves LMC's record to 2-5 on the season and 0-2 in league action.
LMC had to rally in the opening set as it trailed 7-2 to the Crusaders. The Bobcats battled back to not only tie the score but also hold the lead for the majority of the set. Unfortunately for Lees-McRae, Belmont Abbey went on a 4-0 run at the end of the frame to clinch the first set, 26-24.
The defense for Lees-McRae was the difference in the second frame as it tied the match at 1-1 with a 25-18 set victory. The Bobcats totaled 18 digs in the stanza and held the Crusaders to a hitting percentage of just -.062 on 32 attempts. Wes Rogman paced these defensive efforts for LMC totaling five digs in the second.
As well as the Bobcats did in the second set defensively, Belmont Abbey changed it up as it hit .393 on 23 attempts with 13 kills. The more efficient Crusader offense was enough to upend the Bobcats in the third, 25-19.
In what proved to be the final set Wednesday, Belmont Abbey kept up its hot-hitting attacking at a .400 clip in the fourth. The Bobcats did their best to counter with nine kills combined between Sobel and fellow senior Mark Shayka. Despite the efforts from Sobel, Shayka and the rest of the Bobcats, Belmont Abbey was able to finish off the match with a 25-21 win in the fourth.
As mentioned earlier, Sobel paced LMC with 19 kills Wednesday. It marked the third straight match that Sobel has had 17 kills or more. Additionally, Reto Pfund notched his third straight 40-plus assist performance of his Bobcat career with 40 assists.
Defensively, libero Keenan Freitas added to his league-leading dig total with 17 against the Crusaders. Rogman also finished in double figures with 12 digs, while Karl Deichmann led the way with five block assists in the contest.
The Bobcats will look to pick up their first conference win of the season Saturday when they host Pfeiffer at Williams Gymnasium. First serve is set for 7 p.m.