JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Mars Hill put an end to Carson-Newman's six-match winning streak with a 25-23, 25-22 and 25-13 victory at Holt Fieldhouse Tuesday evening in South Atlantic Conference action.
"Effort level was there," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "The energy level was good. Give credit to Mars Hill. They are a much improved team. They executed their style of volleyball really well tonight. Unfortunately we were not able to execute ours in serve receive tonight. Our execution just wasn't where it needed to be tonight."
Carson-Newman (14-11, 9-8) falls to 3-4 in matches played on Halloween as a program and fails to sweep Mars Hill (8-15, 6-10) in a regular-season series for the first time since 2014. The Lions have now won just seven of the last 39 outings.
The reigning conference's player of the week, Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.), led all players with 12 kills while picking up 18 digs.
The two programs exchanged the first 12 rallies before the Eagles opened up a seven-point lead at 16-9. The lead was 21-16 when Mars Hill started its charge winning eight of the next nine points and nine of the final 11 to win the set on a kill from Rebecca Butler.
Once again Carson-Newman took an early advantage in the second stanza going on top 10-5. Mars Hill countered with a 9-3 sequence to go on top 14-13. After the home group tied the score at 14, C-N failed to equalize the rest of the way. The Lions held a one-point edge at 23-22 before Maddie Spurgeon reeled off back-to-back kills to clinch a 2-0 match lead.
The Lions pounded out a .371 hitting margin with 15 kills while holding the Eagles to a .028 hitting clip in the third set. Mars Hill led wire-to-wire after taking a 4-0 lead. Carson-Newman pulled within three at 10-7 only to see the Lions rattled off five straight points.
Overall in the outing, Mars Hill posted a .221 attack percentage, its second-highest of the year, with 87 dig, six blocks and four aces. C-N countered with a .127 percentage, 80 flipskis, five aces and three rejections.
Five players recorded double-figure digs as Butler led her club with 18. Elizabeth Kaeser had 10 kills and 12 digs while Sarah Pasour finished with 24 assists and 16 digs.
A road trip to Anderson (S.C.) is the lone match of the weekend for the Eagles on Friday evening at 7 p.m. It is the final road outing of the regular season as C-N looks to get back in the win column.
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