Ballard tallies career dig 1,000 but Eagles fall in five

Box Score

AIKEN, S.C. – After leading 1-0 in the match and by as many as 10 points in the second set, Carson-Newman was unable to put away Lander Friday morning at the Convocation Center as the Bearcats pulled out a 22-25, 27-25, 15-25, 28-18 and 15-10 five-set victory.

Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) surpassed 1,000 career digs for her career that includes 106 scoops at Wofford during her freshman season. She is up to 933 digs at Carson-Newman as she finished the day with 43.

Lander (8-1) continues its success on neutral floors improving to 44-10 in such games since the start of 2013. Carson-Newman (3-2) has lost both neutral efforts against the Bearcats losing two of the last three meetings overall.

There were six ties in the opening game before Lander opened up a 13-10 edge. C-N quickly responded with three straight to start a new string of deadlocks before an attack error from Kaitlyn Krafka forced a timeout from the Bearcats. Down 19-18, the Eagles ran off five straight points to seize control and eighth attack miscue propelled Franklin's group to a first-set win.

Carson-Newman raced out of the gates in the second stanza winning four straight after Lander took the first point. With the lead 8-6, the Eagles reeled off four in-a-row to go on top 14-6 on a kill from Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). The margin reached 10 only to see the Bearcats battle within a pair and stave off three set points before back-to-back C-N attack errors tied the match.

The momentum did not carry into the third set as the Eagles won five of the first seven points and used a 4-0 sequence to stretch the lead to 17-10. A block from Erin Edwards (Midlothian, Va.) and Katie Parnell (Atlanta, Ga.) put the punctuation on a bounce back effort for C-N.

A tight start to the fourth set saw Lander take control behind a 5-0 spurt to jump ahead 9-4. C-N pulled within a deuce at 12-10 only to lose seven of the next 10 to make it a 19-13 margin. A kill from Riley Kuenstler sent the outing to a fifth frame.

C-N made as many errors, four, as it did kills in the fifth. There were five early ties and at 6-6, Lander won two straight as the two squads flipped sides. The Eagles pulled within one at 9-8 only to fall in six of the final eight points as Krafka closed out the match.

Franklin's crew mustered a higher attacking clip of .128 to .110 while adding 110 digs, 10 aces and seven blocks while Lander had 110 digs, six rejections and five aces. C-N is now 19-6 while posting a higher efficiency than its foe under Franklin.

Madison Rademacher (Broomfield, Colo.) finished with her first-career double-double going for 19 assists and a career-high 21 digs. She joined Ballard with a team-high three aces.

Oldenburger stockpiled 17 kills and 20 digs and Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) added 12 kills. Taylor Rohr (Windsor, Colo.) compiled 24 assists.

Four players finished in double figures on the other side of the net led by 16 and 26 digs by Krafka. Kuenstler, Hannah Hritz and Imari Ashley each had 10 smashes.

Madilyn Reed paced the specialists with 37 assists and 14 digs while Hannah McManus picked up 37 scoops.

The Eagles will cross state lines for a 4:30 p.m. match against Barton at 4:30 p.m. later today from Augusta's campus in Georgia. Video and stats will be available with updates during the contest posted to @CNathletics on Twitter.

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