SALISBURY, N.C. – Carson-Newman produced its third-highest attack percentage in 2018 and secured its 500th win as a program by sweeping Catawba 25-20, 25-17 and 25-21 Friday evening at Goodman Gym in South Atlantic Conference play.
"We passed it a little better," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "We've made a little shift with our offense. We got back to playing faster. We realized against Anderson that we were playing too slow. We took our one day of practice and went back to it. We know how to play fast. We just weren't playing fast enough. We made an adjustment with our middle offense. The girls were able to do that and we were able to play relatively clean."
The milestone of 500 wins comes in year No. 30 for Carson-Newman (7-5, 3-2) joining Wingate and Catawba (5-12, 1-5) as fellow SAC programs to reach that mark. The Eagles have won nine of the last 11 over the Indians in the all-time series.
At 5-5 in the opening game, C-N rattled off five of six to take charge. Catawba chipped away to get within three points at 10-7 only to see its foe go on an 8-1 surge to go on top 18-8. The Indians won five straight to pull within five at 19-14 but the cushion was too much as Katie Parnell (Atlanta, Ga.) spiked a ball to the floor to put the Eagles ahead 1-0.
Once again in the second stanza it was tight early. Franklin's flock broke a 4-4 deadlock with an 8-1 run to stretch the bulge to 12-5 on a kill from Kendall Cooley (Castle Rock, Colo.). The Indians mounted a charge winning six of seven to cut the deficit to 18-14 and force a timeout. The Eagles responded out of the break and sealed the game on kills from Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Parnell.
In the third set, the Eagles needed a major run late as they trailed much of the frame. It was a 20-18 Catawba lead when C-N ripped off six in-a-row including three straight with rejections to get to a match point. Following a kill from Kimberly Hurtado, Oldenburger put the match on ice with a blast to the middle of the floor.
"It was good to see that there was no emotion of being frustrated," Franklin said. "It was just keep playing and understand that we can win overtime. We work really hard from the service line. We know our serve can make a run. We have belief in it. Our blockers have worked really hard in the last month."
On the night, C-N hit .235 on 40 kills with 53 digs, six service aces and 10 blocks compared to a .083 margin from Catawba on 32 kills accompanied by 58 digs, three blocks and two aces.
Erin Edwards (Midlothian, Va.) led all players with 12 kills on the night as she piled up a .556 attack percentage to go along with three block assists.
Oldenburger finished with a double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs piling up a .267 hitting clip. Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) chipped in nine smashes and nine scoops.
"One thing that we have been working on with the offense is running it faster," Vasquez said. "[We are trying] to spread it more so I feel like that really helped us to get that ball down because the block was not ready or had the other team on their heels. I think that really helped us out."
Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) picked up 15 digs while Parnell finished with a solo and 3.5 total rejcetions.
No one on the Catawba side of the night had double-digit digs as Micah Ensor's eight was the only tally of more than five.
Morgan Hester handed out 19 helpers while Jade Brooks led the roster with 16 digs, one of three players in double figures.
A Saturday afternoon affair at Queens is up next for the Eagles completes the weekend with a 2 p.m. first serve from Charlotte. Video will be provided while @CNathletics on Twitter will have the latest news and notes.
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