Balanced attack fuels C-N’s sweep in SAC opener

Balanced attack fuels C-N’s sweep in SAC opener

VIDEO: Match Highlights

VIDEO: Dave Franklin Interview

VIDEO: Kendall Cooley Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Seven Eagles registered at least three kills in a match where Carson-Newman posted a .239 team hitting percentage in a 25-22, 25-11 and 26-24 sweep over UVa-Wise Friday evening at Holt Fieldhouse to open South Atlantic Conference play.

"What I love about our gym is that every kid earns playing time," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "They are committed at a high level in our culture. I always want to reward them but as a coach you have to decide who is going to play and what's best for the team. I love the fact that when they go in it's about execution. We want to keep raising that level."

It is the third SAC-opening sweep for Carson-Newman (3-1, 1-0) over the past six seasons in the first-ever meeting with UVa-Wise (1-2, 0-1) in its program's first match as a member of the SAC.

Erin Edwards (Midlothian, Va.) paced the Eagles attack with nine kills on a .350 hitting percentage while Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) needed just two sets to pound eight kills on a .280 clip adding five digs and a block.

Madison Rademacher (Broomfield, Colo.) handed out 11 assists and Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) picked up 17 digs. Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) finished with seven kills and 11 digs and Kendall Cooley (Castle Rock, Colo.) posted six kills while hitting .312.

"First of all our setters are working really hard at locating the ball," Cooley said. "They are doing a really good job putting it up there for us every single time. We are just working on taking big, efficient swings and whatever swing is right for the situation. We are trying to make the most effective one and I think we did that tonight."

On the statistical comparison, the Eagles had 40 kills hitting .239 with 55 digs, nine blocks and eight aces versus 28 kills on a .071 mark with 60 scoops, two blocks and an ace from the Cavaliers.

Despite a bevy of miscues, the Eagles were able to hold off a pesky Cavaliers side in the first. There were eight ties but C-N rattled off four straight to surge ahead 20-17, a lead that would not waver sealing the game behind strong swings from Streeter.

The second stanza saw a tight opening with the Cavaliers pulling within one at 7-6 behind a 4-1 burst. Franklin's flock responded quickly to take the lead back before winning 15 of the final 18 rallies to take a commanding set win and a 2-0 match lead. C-N posted a .364 hitting percentage thanks to error free attacking with a dozen kills.

Franklin used the third set to get some fresh faces onto the court. The score was tied six times in the early going before C-N took control behind a 6-0 spurt to go on top 21-14. Wise refused to go quietly using a 9-2 sequence to tie the contest at 23. It took two match points before Kaina Roehrkasse (Fort Collins, Colo.) stuffed a shot from Makayla Ledford to win the affair.

Ciara Kain led the offense for the visitors with eight kills but made six attack miscues adding nine digs. Matelyn Gibson chipped in seven and nine respectively in the same areas.

Morgan Milligan led all players with 24 digs and Ledford paced all athletes with 23 assists.

The Eagles resume action Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. with in-state opponent Tusculum starting at 2 p.m. from Holt Fieldhouse. Tune into the Eagle Sports Network for the live broadcast.

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