Harnischfeger’s hammer, C-N’s defense power sweep

VIDEO: Dave Franklin Interview

VIDEO: Emily Harnischfeger Interview

VIDEO: Match Highlights

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Emily Harnischfeger reset her career high with 13 kills as Carson-Newman limited Francis Marion to a minus-.010 hitting percentage in a 27-25, 25-18 and 25-21 sweep of the Patriots Saturday evening at Holt Fieldhouse.

The negative hitting clip is the second time in 2017 that the Eagles have held a foe to a margin below zero marking the first time by a C-N team to do that in a season since the 2010 team did so three times. It marks the first time in 15 tries over the last two years that C-N won a match in which its opponent tallied more blocks, seven versus four.

"We were not as up-and-down so there's an adjustment," Carson-Newman Dave Franklin stated. "We had more consistency which is something we have to build as a team. I thought we were more consistent throughout the match. We didn't come out as strong but we were execute down the stretch in the first tight set and get a W which parlayed us the rest of the way."

Harnischfeger entered weekend play with 42 kills through her first 11 matches but has picked up 23 total smashes over the last two days. The Macedon, N.Y. native hit .219 and added five digs.

"I feel like execution overall with our entire team," Harnischfeger assessed as the difference. "Offensively we were really good. I look to help out my team in any way possible. Whatever coach is asking me, I'm going to put my best foot forward for the team."

With the win, Carson-Newman (7-6) defeats Francis Marion (5-9) for just the second time in six tries at Holt Fieldhouse in an outing that had 28 ties and 14 lead changes.

Also on the antenna, Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) racked up 11 kills marking the fifth straight outing with at least 10 blasts.

Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) led all players with 22 digs while Elena Vasquez (Riverside, Calif.) handed out 18 assists.

The opening game featured 12 ties and six lead changes. After falling behind 16-15, the Eagles rattled off four consecutive points capped by back-to-back kills from Lindsay De Vore (Denton, Texas). Francis Marion won seven of the next nine to take a 23-21 lead. After C-N tied the score at 23, the Eagles faced two set points before winning the final three rallies.

The first 24 rallies of the second stanza saw the nine ties before the Eagles took the lead at 13-12 on a smash from Streeter. It began a 9-2 sequence that forced a pair of timeouts from FMU coach Lauren Baufield. Streeter racked up back-to-back blasts to close out the set and put the Eagles on top 2-0.

Once again the third frame featured a seesaw battle with seven tie scores through the first 24 rallies. The Patriots held a 12-10 edge when the Eagles surged winning 11 of the next 14 points to take a 21-15 advantage. The lead was never challenged as Natalie Harris (Monroe, N.C.) smashed a ball into the back corner to seal the sweep.

Lenee' Blot paced the offense for the Patriots with 10 kills while hitting .240 to go along with four service aces, two digs and one block. Tori Carpenter dished out 18 assists and five digs while Courtney Abdur-Rahim registered 10 digs.

C-N matched a season low with four rejections also picked up when Erskine tallied a minus-.151 margin. Francis Marion had seven blocks.

The Eagles begin their October slate on Friday against undefeated Wingate in Cuddy Arena for a 7 p.m. first serve. The Bulldogs will provide a stream on ESPN3 as in-game updates will be available by following @CNathletics on Twitter.

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