JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – In a match that featured 25 ties, Carson-Newman outlasted Catawba using late spurts to fend off the Indians in straight stanzas 26-24, 28-26 25-20 in South Atlantic Conference play Saturday evening at Holt Fieldhouse.
"For us siding out," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said of what made the difference. "This game is about siding out. It's something we have been focusing on and have struggled to do. We got a little better at it last night for two of the three sets. We were able to do that in the first two sets [today]. Our serving, which has been a strength of ours, started to come back. When we have that kind of serving, we are able to make runs. We were able to side out to keep ourselves around.
"I thought our young hitters took big swings – confident swings. They weren't just controlled shots. They were hitting aggressively and we got some swings to go our way. I thought we grew up in those two sets and winning those should do a lot for our confidence going forward."
Carson-Newman (6-4, 4-3) improves to 4-0 in matches played on a Saturday in 2017 while snapping a 10-match losing streak at home dating back to a five-set win over Augusta on Oct. 14, 2016.
The Eagles were led by 18 kills from Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) who posted a career-high .405 attack percentage on 37 swings.
"I have come out there with more confidence," Streeter said. "I know that I'm one of the older girls now cause we have a lot of freshman. I know that I have to confidence to step up. I think I was swinging a lot higher. The setters are really getting it place where you can have different shots. The setters were doing their job so it was easy to do mine."
A pair of players notched a double-double for C-N as Anna Patton (Franklin, Tenn.) posted 15 digs and 12 assists. Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) racked up 11 kills and 15 digs with two service aces.
Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) led all players in the outing with 23 digs, her sixth effort with at least 20 scoops.
Franklin's club held a 4-3 lead when Catawba rattled off five straight points to take the lead. After the Eagles charged back to knot the tally seven times before going ahead 21-19. Catawba won five of the next six to get to set point. Carson-Newman won the next four points capped by an ace from Patton to take the first.
The second stanza saw 14 tie scores with the largest margin for either side being four points by Catawba at 11-7. With the margin in favor of the Indians by a point at 16-15, C-N reeled off four in-a-row to go on top 19-16. Catawba responded with five of the next six points to make it 21-20. An attack error from Abby Benton gave the Eagles one of four set points. Oldenburger ended the frame with back-to-back smashes.
Seven of the first 10 points of the third set went to the Eagles who opened up their largest lead of the match to that point. A 10-2 sequence opened the match up to a 24-13 margin for the home group. Catawba won seven straight before Natalie Harris (Monroe, N.C.) put the game on ice.
Rachel Stanford had a double-double with 12 assists, 10 digs to go on top of five kills. Kimberly Hurtado led the Indians on the front line with nine kills and a block. Allison Benton led the team with 20 digs.
Carson-Newman posted its second-best hitting percentage of the year at .234 while racking up 70 scoops, six aces and six rejections. Catawba hit .168 with 65 digs and seven aces.
Tusculum is next on the docket scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. inside of Holt Fieldhouse. There will be a broadcast available around the world on cneagles.com/live as the Eagle Sports Network provides coverage.
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