HARROGATE, Tenn. - Sophomore Erin Edwards cranked out a .650 attack percentage on a career-high 13 kills as Carson-Newman rolled over Belmont Abbey 25-10, 25-20, 23-25 and 25-?? Friday afternoon in the 2018 season opener at Mary Mars Gym.
Dating back to 2006, Carson-Newman (1-0) has won 11 of their last 13 lidlifters including triumphs in each of the last two years. Belmont Abbey (1-2) has lost all three matches against the Eagles winning just one set over that span.
Edwards did not make a mistake on 20 swings to lead the way offensively. Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) added 12 kills and six digs while Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) racked up 11 smashes and eight scoops.
In her collegiate debut, rookie Taylor Rohr (Windsor, Colo.) notched a double-double with 25 assists and 12 digs to go along with four service aces. Madi Rademacher (Broomfield, Colo.) added 15 assists and nine digs. Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) rounded out the specialists with 18 digs and a career-high six assists.
Franklin could not have asked for a better start to the season as the Eagles hit .577 in the first frame not committing an attack error with 15 kills. Four players had at least three smashes. C-N scored the first five points of the day and 12 of the first 15. A 7-1 sequence stretched the margin to 20-6 leading to a punctuation mark from Erin Edwards (Midlothian, Va.).
The second stanza proved to be more of a challenge as the Crusaders won the first three rallies and maintained the lead for much of the set. The Eagles were able to seize a 17-15 edge on an attack error from Mackenzie Chrapliwy but Belmont Abbey won the next three points to go back on top. C-N had the answer winning the next five points capped by a service ace from Oldenburger. The cushion was in place as Streeter put the match on ice with her sixth smash of the day.
Four early ties opened the third game before a kill from Joy Rhodes (Youngsville, N.C.) made it a three-point contest at 14-11. A service ace from Natalie Harris (Monroe, N.C.) stretch the margin to four at 20-16. Belmont Abbey won the next eight points to get to set point. After the Eagles won three rallies, a kill from Chrapliwy extended the match.
A tight start to the fourth set was answered by a kill from Edwards to push the C-N lead to 10-7. Back-to-back attack miscues from Oldenburger cut the margin to one point at 16-15. After a timeout, the Eagles won seven of the next nine points and a smash from Streeter closed out the first win of the year.
In one of the most effective offensive efforts by a Dave Franklin team, C-N hit .318 as a squad with 53 kills, 66 digs and nine service aces.
Belmont Abbey was limited to a .172 hitting clip as Chrapliwy led all players with 19 kills adding 10 digs. Cassidy Bonito stuffed the stat sheet with 34 assists, 13 digs and seven kills. Lydia Sale provided 10 kills and Sarah Kenney had 15 digs.
The Eagles wrap up day one of the tournament at 2 p.m. against fellow Tennessee school King. Live stats are available by clicking here.
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