Swisher leads Lady Eagles to sweep of Milligan
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — The Carson-Newman Volleyball team made quick work of visiting Milligan College Tuesday night at Holt Fieldhouse, recording a 3-0 sweep; 25-18, 25-24 and 25-20.
The win breaks a three-game losing streak for the Lady Eagles, who are 13-10 on the season with a 4-4 record at home.
Senior right-side hitter Carly Swisher (Fort Collins, Colo.) was deadly at the net, recording 12 kills and six blocks. Freshman setter Kristin Pickett (Cleveland, Tenn.) led both teams with 35 assists while sophomore libero Rachael Bowlin (Morristown, Tenn.) hit the floor for 10 digs in the contest.
In all C-N dominated defensive play at the net, recording 12 team blocks to Milligan's five.
In the opening game Carson-Newman surged out to a 7-3 lead with freshman Blair Fields (Bluff City, Tenn.) behind the service line. Milligan pulled within two points at 12-10, but senior middle hitter Nikki James (Cookeville, Tenn.) and Swisher teamed up on a block that swung the momentum back the Lady Eagles' way.
C-N outscored Milligan 13-8 the rest of the way, with James and sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Bryant (Gainesville, Ga.) finishing off the game with a block on a kill attempt from Milligan's Erin Pittman.
The second set came down to the wire, with the Lady Eagles fighting back from a 17-13 deficit midway through the game. With freshman Rachel Harper (Chattanooga, Tenn.) at the service line, Carson-Newman won six straight points, two on service aces to take a one-point lead, 19-18.
Milligan and C-N traded points until, down 24-22, the Lady Eagles dug deep to win three straight points and steal the set, finishing off with consecutive kills from James and Bryant.
C-N again found itself in a hole in the third and final set, trailing 9-3 before once again making a surge back into the game. This time it was freshman outside hitter Lauren Santarelli (Colorado Springs, Colo.) behind the service line when the Lady Eagles battled back into the game with four straight points, taking a 14-13 lead. The game was even for the next few points until, with a 19-18 lead, Carson-Newman began pulling away. Sophomore Sierra Weaver closed out the game with three straight service points, two from aces.
James finished the match with seven kills. Santerelli had nine. Harper notched five digs.
Carson-Newman returns to action in South Atlantic Conference this weekend. The Lady Eagles host Anderson (S.C.) on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Newberry on Saturday at noon.