One of the most competitive non-conference series between the EIVA and Conference Carolinas will be renewed in the upcoming season.
Lees-McRae as part of recently unveiling its 2015 schedule announced that it would play a non-conference road match against St. Francis in February.
This will be the third consecutive year that the two teams have played each other with Lees-McRae winning the two previous meetings.
The Bobcats in their non-conference match last season blew a two-game lead before rallying to beat the Red Flashes in a decisive fifth game for the Conference Carolinas’ only victory against a top-five EIVA team. Lees-McRae on the road in 2013 also beat St. Francis in four games, including winning the fourth game in a 16-point overtime session.
Despite its two recent losses to Lees-McRae, St. Francis is 10-3 all-time against the Conference Carolinas since the NCAA Division II conference started sponsoring men’s volleyball in 2010.
St. Francis ended last season in fifth place in the EIVA and narrowly missed the four-team conference tournament. In addition, among starters returning for the Red Flashes next season is all-conference opposite Mike Marshman, who was in the top 15 of the EIVA with a .403 attack percentage in 2014.
Lees-McRae reached the Conference Carolinas Tournament last season before losing to Mount Olive in the quarterfinals. All-conference outside attacker Brady Markle also returns for his junior season after finishing third in the conference with a 3.94 kills per game average, including having a match-high 23 kills in Lees-McRae’s victory against St. Francis.
The non-conference match against St. Francis will be part of a two-match EIVA road trip for Lees-McRae in February.
Lees-McRae will also play George Mason on Feb. 20 before traveling to play St. Francis the following day.