Bulldogs down Eagles in straight sets

Box Score

WINGATE, N.C. – Carson-Newman began a challenging road stretch with a 12-25, 13-25 and 11-25 loss in South Atlantic Conference play at Cuddy Arena Friday night as Wingate remained one of six undefeated teams in Division II.

"It was a rough night for our young Eagles but this was not a reflection on who we are as a team," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "As Lou Holtz said, 'nothing is as good as it seems and nothing is as bad as it seems. Somewhere in between lies reality.' This loss will not define us, how we respond to it will. I have full confidence in our team and culture that our response will be positive and we will be better for this experience."

Wingate (14-0, 9-0) has won each of the last five meetings with Carson-Newman (7-7, 4-6) and holds a 24-5 all-time advantage on its home floor in the series.

The Eagles failed to hit over .100 in any set posting a .059 mark against a team that ranks fourth in the nation in opponent's efficiency. Conversely the Bulldogs notched a .391 hitting clip making just eight errors with 42 kills.

The most smashes for any player on Franklin's crew was from Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) as the sophomore had five. Elena Vasquez (Riverside, Calif.) had 10 assists and four digs and Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) failed to reach double digits in digs with a team-high eight.

Katie Bludau, the conference's leader in kills per set, hammered out 18 kills without a mistake on 34 swings to lead Wingate. Rachel Alles had 24 assists and Treslyn Ortiz led all players with 11 scoops.

C-N made eight service miscues with just one service ace and had two blocks while Wingate had seven service aces and seven rejections.

The opening moments of the first set saw the Eagles take a 4-3 lead only to see Wingate rip off seven unanswered to take control of the game. Alternating kills by Phoebe Havenaar and Katie Bludau pushed the Bulldogs to the final five points of the set to take a 1-0 lead.

A kill from Lindsay De Vore (Denton, Texas) pulled the visitors within two points at 7-5 in the second set prompting a timeout from Wingate coach Shelton Collier. Streeter pounded a ball to the ground to tie the score at nine. The Bulldogs responded by taking 16 of the next 20 rallies to seal the stanza.

While each of the first two sets featured four ties, the third set was Wingate from start to finish. The Bulldogs won the first five rallies and never looked back as a pair of attack errors from Carson-Newman ended the night.

The Eagles wrap up the weekend Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Charlotte, N.C. against Queens. Live updates will be on Twitter by following @CNathletics with live video provided by the Royals staff by clicking here.

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