JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Lincoln Memorial stayed hot on the year and on the attack racking up a hitting clip of .198 to take down Carson-Newman in straight sets 25-21, 25-22 and 25-22 Tuesday evening in South Atlantic Conference play at Holt Fieldhouse.
"We had a few more hitting errors than you would like but we had the kills so we were right there," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "It came down to defensive discipline. We get touches with our block and one defender wouldn't be there. This game has a weird aura about it. When you have six people doing their job you make plays. If one person is not doing their job the ball is going to find them. It found us tonight a lot. We have to learn that we have to have a level of focus every play."
Putting a bow on the month of October, Lincoln Memorial (17-7, 13-5) went 9-2 while beating Carson-Newman (13-12, 9-9) for the 12th time in the last 17 meetings. The Eagles have now lost three straight at home to the Railsplitters since a five-set win in 2015.
It was a tight start to the night as the Eagles held a 10-9 edge when LMU rattled off three straight and five of six to go out in front 14-11. While the home group pulled within a point on two occasions, the Railsplitters were able to use the run to close it out on a kill from Lindsey Nartker.
After winning three of the first five of the second, the Eagles dropped eight of the next 10 to fall behind 10-5. C-N chiseled away getting the margin down to three at 15-12 only to give up five in-a-row. A surge that saw the Eagles win seven of 11 cut the deficit to two at 24-22 before a solo block from Tone Gill put the visitors in the driver's seat.
The Eagles charged out to a 7-5 early edge before the Railsplitters went on a 12-5 sequence to take a 17-12 advantage. Carson-Newman found a surge getting to within one at 23-22 before kills from Danielle Ged and Rylee Storms wrapped up the match.
The Railsplitters produced 35 kills, 38 digs, six blocks and three service aces while the Eagles had 37 kills on a .190 margin with 38 digs, 9.5 rejections and four aces. C-N fails to win a match when leading in kills for the first time this year as it had been 10-0 this year and 24-4 under Franklin.
Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) was the only player on either side of the net with double-digit kills as she had 11 with a .242 efficiency. Six other Eagles had multiple smashes.
Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) settled for 14 digs snapping a string of eight-straight efforts with at least 20. It was her lowest total this season when playing the full match.
Emily Walter led coach Jenny Michael's group with 25 assists and five digs and Erica Whiteaker paced the group 14 scoops.
Six players had at least five kills in the match for LMU led by eight from Storms who also added six scoops. Ged registered six smashes on 10 swings without a mistake.
With two games to go in the regular season, the Eagles hit the road to conclude the season starting Friday night at Lenoir-Rhyne for a 7 p.m. match.
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