MISENHEIMER, NC - The Pfeiffer men's volleyball team's (4-6, 3-2 CC) comeback bid came up just short as Lees-McRae (6-4, 2-2) came away with a dramatic 3-2 victory on Friday afternoon. Pfeiffer erased a 2-0 deficit and had three match point opportunities, but Lees-McRae took the fifth set, 20-18.
Michael Brewer and Sonny Hirini each had 17 kills for Pfeiffer, who hit .269 as a team. Brewer posted a .520 hitting percentage and added 11 digs for his second straight double-double. Fabio Diniz added 11 kills and eight assisted blocks, while David Specian handed out 54 assists.
Brady Markle had a game-high 21 kills for the Bobcats and Matt Harpenau added 20 kills and 11 digs.
The Falcons continued the trend of starting slowly, dropping the first set 25-21. Pfeiffer is now 3-7 in the opening set on the season, and have been outscored 240-228 in the opening frame.
Lees-McRae took the second set by a score of 25-19 as the Falcons hit .111.
Pfeiffer awoke in the third set and hit a scorching .500 for the game with 15 kills and only two errors. Brewer had five of his 17 kills in the set and Specian closed out the 25-18 victory with a kill.
The Falcons ran out to a 10-7 lead in the fourth set and seemed destined for a victory when they took a 21-18 lead on a kill from Brewer. However, Lees-McRae rallied and cut the lead to 22-21. Kyle Landigran cemented the win with a kill that was set up by Specian as Pfeiffer won 25-23, setting the stage for a dramatic fifth set.
The team's alternated the first eight points of the set before Lees-McRae scored two straight to take a 6-4 lead. Lees-McRae kept the momentum going and took a 9-7 lead on a kill by Kevin Morrison. Pfeiffer would respond with four straight points and six of the next seven tallies to take a 13-10 lead. However, the Bobcats refused to go down easily and scored three straight to tie the game. Hirini set up the first match point opportunity on a kill but Harpenau answered with a kill of his own to tie the score. Pfeiffer grabbed a 16-15 lead but Harpenau again had the evener, dodging the second match point. Evan Blair responded to give Pfeiffer a third chance to win but Hirini's service error ended that threat. Eventually, Lees-McRae got back-to-back kills from Morrison and Harpenau to get the win.
In total, the lead changed hands five times in the fifth set and was tied on 12 separate occasions.
Pfeiffer's 63 kills in the match were a season-high.
The Falcons return to action on Tuesday night a 7 p.m. as they host Coker in non-conference action.