Banner Elk, NC – Southern Wesleyan fell to the Lees-McRae Bobcats in a 3-1 final on Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors posted 41 kills in the loss to the Bobcats. Olivia Johnson and Katie Anderson lead the team. Johnson recorded 14 and Anderson followed with 13. Annika Jones posted 37 of the Warriors 40 assists in the loss. Johnson recorded the lone service aces of the game. Southern Wesleyan posted 62 digs with three recording double digits. Anna Martin led the team with 16, she was followed by Katie Anderson with 15 and Olivia Johnson with 11. Johnson had the lone block of the game.
Final: Lees-McRae 3, Southern Wesleyan 1
Records: Southern Wesleyan (6-11 / CC 3-6) Lees-McRae (4-16 / CC 1-5)
How It Happened
The Lees-McRae Bobcats took an early lead on a service ace by Ellissa Small, but the Warriors countered with a kill by Davis Hendricks to put them behind the Bobcats 2-1. Southern Wesleyan would not go down quietly with kills by Courtney Price and Darby Sheets to come to 5-6 behind Lees-McRae. The Bobcats continued to pressure the Warriors with kills by Lauren Arnold and Lexi Zangari to take an 11-6 point advantage over Southern Wesleyan. A kill by Annika Jones allowed the Warriors to come to within seven points of the Bobcats and made the score 7-14. Lees-McRae took the first set in a 25-15 final.
The Bobcats surged ahead in the second set, taking a 2-0 lead on back-to-back kills by Logan Slusher. Annika Jones passed the ball to Darby Sheets who laid down a kill and put the Warriors back 2-3 to the Bobcats. Lees-McRae pushed ahead to take a 16-4 point advantage over Southern Wesleyan. The Warriors fought back with kills by Olivia Johnson and an assisted block by Courtney Price and Annika Jones to make the score 8-16. Lees-McRae went on to win the second set 25-10.
Southern Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead in the third set off a kill by Darby Sheets, however Lees-McRae tied it up seconds later on a kill by Logan Slusher. A kill by senior Katie Anderson allowed the Warriors to regain the lead and make the score 2-1. Southern Wesleyan continued to put the pressure on Lees-McRae with a kill by Olivia Johnson to allow them to take a 4-2 point lead. The Warriors continued to attack in the third set with kills by Olivia Johnson and Katie Anderson to put them on top 11-8. Southern Wesleyan went on to win the third set 26-24.
The Warriors broke out early on a kill by Courtney Price. They continued to challenge the Bobcats with back-to-back kills by Olivia Johnson to keep the fourth set tied 3-3. Lees-McRae countered Southern Wesleyan's every point, but kills by Olivia Johnson and Katie Anderson allowed the Warriors to take a 9-8 point advantage. Johnson posted an ace and Anderson put down yet another kill to allow the Warriors to distance themselves from the Bobcats 13-10. Lees-McRae continued to challenge Southern Wesleyan, but a kill by Olivia Johnson allowed the Warriors to take a 20-18 point lead. However, the Bobcats would not go down quietly as a service ace by Caitlyn Smirne put them on top 22-21. A kill by Katie Anderson allowed the Warriors to tie the fourth set 24-24. Lees-McRae went on to win the game 26-24.
The Warriors will return to Historic Tysinger Gymnasium on October 12 and 13. Southern Wesleyan will take on the Erskine Flying Fleet at 7 p.m. on October 12 and the Emmanuel Lions at 2 p.m. on October 13. They will then travel to Bristol, Tennessee to take on the King Tornado on October 19.