Season ends for C-N as Bronze Playoff Runner-Up at Small College Championships

TAVARNES, Fla.— A split day in the NCAA Division II/Division III Bronze Playoff helped the Carson-Newman beach volleyball team close out its 2019 campaign as pool's runner-up at the AVCA Small College Championship on Sunday.

The Eagles (3-26), sitting as the three-seed in the bracket, won their first match of the day in close fashion with a 3-2 victory over second-seeded Principia (5-15). This win brought the Orange and Blue to 1-1 in meetings with the Panthers this season, both matches coming down to 3-2 decisions.

"Our girls have competed their hearts out this year," Director of Beach Volleyball Dave Franklin said. "It was awesome to see them enjoy a win and do it in the most dramatic fashion you can in beach volleyball."

Lauren Williams and Lexy Headley were the first pair of Eagles to get wins in the match before Principia took a 2-1 lead.

The match was decided by tie-breaking third sets at the No. 2 and No. 3 flights. C-N's third-seeded pairing of Kelly Hughes and Aryana Fazlenia won first, tying the match at 2-2.

The deciding flight was with the twos as Grace Seymour and Montgomery Sauter grinded out a win to land their team in the Bronze Playoff Championship.

The season came down to this year's fourth meeting with Tusculum (10-5). C-N lost 4-1 to bring their overall record against the Pioneers to 0-4 on the year.

Headly and Williams won their second game of the day for the Eagles at the No. 4 flight. This grouping was the only win against Tusculum.

"This group has made growth in many areas this year," Franklin said. "We have raised many cultural standards on the court and even a couple off the court these last few weeks. It has been a pleasure to serve these athletes over the last few weeks and I look forward to helping their journeys and this program's journey as we build it."

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