HARROGATE, Tenn. – From the first serve, Carson-Newman was dominant in all phases against Erskine Saturday afternoon at Mary Mars Gymnasium to conclude play in the Lincoln Memorial Invitational.
The Eagles never trailed in the match and displayed a balanced attack that saw nine different players record multiple kills in a sweep of the Flying Fleet 25-7, 25-8 and 25-14.
Carson-Newman (2-1) held Erskine (0-2) to a -.151 hitting percentage, 24 errors versus 11 kills, marking the lowest attack clip for a C-N opponent in the previous 15 seasons. The prior mark came on Sept. 1, 2006 when Kentucky Wesleyan mustered a -.073 mark on the Eagles.
"It was a fun day for our team," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "We controlled our side of the net extremely well. We were able to get a lot of players experience as well. I love the culture our players are building and living. They are truly making something special that in time will lead to special experiences. I am a very blessed and proud coach today. We are all excited to get better in the gym on Monday."
Senior setter Anna Patton (Franklin, Tenn.) stuffed the stat sheet with 12 assists, seven digs and a career-high five service aces.
Sophomore libero Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) led all players with 12 scoops while recording the third kill of her career.
Freshman outside hitter Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) accumulated seven kills on a .312 attack percentage to lead all players in the match.
As a unit, C-N racked up a .273 attack percentage on 34 kills to go along with 44 digs and four blocks. Erskine registered a pair of rejections while scooping 38 balls.
The Eagles posted a .367 hitting percentage in a dominating first set that saw the unit win the first nine points. The Flying Fleet won four of the next six points to pull within a seven points. Ballard served up the final four points to wrap up the opening stanza.
The second set saw Franklin's team reel off 10 of the first 12 points providing the Flying Fleet with a deficit they could never overcome. Erskine won consecutive rallies three times during the set with an attack error by Reilly Bartlett put the Eagles ahead 2-0 in the match.
The Flying Fleet made eight attack mistakes with just two kills in the final set. Once again C-N raced out of the gates scoring seven of the first eight points. Erskine pulled within four at 11-7, the closest margin the rest of the match. Fittingly an attack error by Maddie Wilson sealed the second victory of the year for the Eagles.
Jauhna Smith paced Erskine with five kills and was the only player on the roster to finish with a positive attack percentage at .118. Rachel Meyer finished with 10 digs.
The Eagles look to begin a winning streak when they open up South Atlantic Conference action Friday with the first of four straight road matches starting with Tusculum at 7 p.m.
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