JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman clinched a home match in the South Atlantic Conference Championships with a sweep of Queens (N.C.) 25-20, 25-22 and 25-17 Saturday evening at Holt Fieldhouse.
"We came out with great energy and great passion," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "We [stayed] the course in the first two sets. The basics of volleyball – hit the ball inbounds and serve the ball inbounds – eluded us early in the sets but we executed late in the sets. We had a whole week of preparation. We defended well and blocked relatively well. It was really exciting to watch them come into their own. For us being relatively young, we are starting to look experienced. We can execute in those environments. We are a proud coaching staff for sure."
Carson-Newman (14-14, 10-10) earns a home match Tuesday evening against fifth-seeded Tusculum at 7 p.m. as the Eagles improve to 12-0 under Franklin when leading 2-0.
Queens (20-7, 14-6) sees its three-match winning streak against the Eagles come to a close and is now 2-5 at Mossy Creek.
Marnie Streeter (Golvein, Va.) led all players on the night with 16 kills hitting .275 while piling up seven digs. Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) notched a career-high 22 digs as she cranked out eight kills.
Alex Biro (Ootlewah, Tenn.) produced one of the most efficient outings of the year for C-N with eight kills on 12 swings without a miscue to hit .667.
"Our pass and defense made it easy for [Patton] to do her job," Biro stated. "She did it flawlessly. I think she mixed up the sets so well that I almost always had an open opportunity with the block. We have been working hard in practice getting a rhythm. I think it's the best we have played in a really long time."
Franklin's bunch held a 7-6 lead in the first frame only to see Queens ripped off six unanswered points. Following a C-N timeout, the Eagles rattled off 13 of the next 17 points to go ahead 20-16. A kill from Biro and a service ace from Ballard put the stanza on ice.
Queens started the second set with five of the first six points. The lead ballooned to six points on two occasions before the Eagles started the comeback. A 4-0 sequence made it 15-14 Royals. The two schools were deadlocked five times down the stretch. At 21 apiece, C-N rattled off three straight points to get to set point. After the road club pulled within one, Streeter cranked out kills No. 11 to put the Eagles ahead 2-0.
The outset of the third frame featured another early titanic struggle as C-N grasped a 7-6 edge before going on an 8-2 spurt to go on top by seven at 15-8. The closest Queens could get the rest of the way was 18-14 but Franklin's group had the answer to the tune of a 5-2 sequence making it a 23-16 score. Streeter pummeled home a kill and a bad set from Sydney Kunz sealed the match.
Casey Tarvin led the way for the Royals with 13 kills and eight digs as no other Royal had more than six kills. Kunz racked up 31 assists and 11 digs while Jacee Jones and Lexie Dolecheck had 12 digs apiece.
The Eagles host the SAC Quarterfinals Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. as No. 5 seed Tusculum comes to town. Each school won on the road during the regular campaign. Broadcast coverage starts at 6:45 p.m. on cneagles.com/live courtesy of the Eagle Sports Network.
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