MARS HILL, N.C. – Erin Edwards notched a career-high 14 kills and Marnie Streeter pounded out 16 blasts as Carson-Newman sealed the No. 4 seed in next week's South Atlantic Conference Tournament with a 19-25, 25-23, 25-18 and 25-21 victory over Mars Hill Saturday afternoon.
"When you start the season one of the goals is to finish top four and host a tournament game. Going into the weekend and knowing we are in control of our own destiny. Our team had our best weekend of the year when we needed it most. It's a big step for our program that we provided our best when we needed it."
Edwards needed just 32 swings to reset her career mark hitting .344 while gobbling up a career-best six scoops. Streeter led all players with 60 swings and added 1.5 blocks and five digs.
Overall on the day Carson-Newman (15-12, 11-9) posted a .129 margin with 49 smashes, six rejections, 105 digs and 11 service aces.
"We work really hard from the service line," Franklin said. "You want to be one-to-one but today we doubled them up. The identity we have worked hard to develop showed today. We were relentless all day long and it helped get them out of system and give us a chance to produce scoring runs."
Mars Hill (16-12, 10-10) became just the third team to register more blocks than the Eagles in a match with 10 adding a .126 clip with 43 kills, 100 digs and five aces.
The Eagles came out of the blocks firing winning seven of the first nine but could not maintain giving up five straight to tie the first set at seven. Things remained tight when Mars Hill turned a 15-13 deficit into a 24-16 winning 11 of 12 before a kill from Dayanna Barbosa stopped a 3-0 spurt by the Eagles to take the opening game.
In the second stanza, it went back-and-forth with C-N leading most of the game breaking a 17-17 deadlock by winning six of seven to go ahead 23-18. After Mars Hill won four unanswered to pull within one, Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) notched a kill. A smash from Sarah Pasour made it a one-point contest before Katie Parnell (Atlanta, Ga.) tied the match with a blast.
Mars Hill took charge at the outset of the third set winning five of the first six and holding a lead at 16-11. Following a timeout from Franklin, C-N won seven straight and closed out the game on a 14-2 run to go on top 2-1 in the match.
Despite four ties in the fourth frame, the Eagles were never behind using a 4-0 surge to go on top 23-17. After three unanswered by the Lions, the Eagles seized control at Parnell sealed the set and the match with her fourth kill of the day.
No other C-N player had more than six kills in the match as Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) used her defense piling up a career-high 28 digs.
Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) led her side of the net with 34 digs, her 10th effort with 30-plus scoops. Her season total of 732 sits in fourth for a single campaign on the school's ledger.
Madison Rademacher (Broomfield, Colo.) added her fourth double-double of the year with 23 assists and 13 digs.
Elizabeth Kaeser was the leader for Lions with 16 kills hitting .282 in the match with 20 digs as the only player with double figure blasts.
Ully Martins led all players with 35 digs on the day as Sara Pasour handed out 25 assists and picked up 11 digs.
The Eagles turn their attention to the SAC Tournament as they will host fifth-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne Tuesday night at Holt Fieldhouse for a 7 p.m. first serve on the Eagle Sports Network.
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