ANDERSON, S.C. – On the cusp of ending the fourth-longest home winning streak in the nation, Carson-Newman hit an untimely seven-rally drought in the fifth set to drop a five-set match at Anderson Friday evening 20-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22 and 10-15 in South Atlantic Conference play.
"We are going to face the fifth set head on," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "We made too many errors in the set and unfortunately gave up too many points without them having to earn it. Our players understand that the demand in our practices must rise and we need to learn to function under that pressure. It was a huge step forward from Tuesday. Our kids have the right mindset about it and we are ready to keep getting better."
Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) and Erin Edwards (Midlothian, Va.) each racked up 16 kills on the night. With the effort, Streeter moved into 11th on the program's kills list bringing her career total to 1,095.
Edwards, meanwhile, posted a career-high in kills while hitting .342 making just three mistakes on 39 swings. The junior added two blocks.
"It was exciting to see Marnie have success tonight," Franklin said. "The kid grinds in practice every day and it was neat to see her have the confidence. She made two mistakes in the fifth and bounced back with two big kills.
"We made two changes mechanically with Erin in practice this week. She is one of the elite athletes in this conference and we saw that on display tonight. We will keep pushing her because she makes us really dynamic."
Anderson (5-2, 3-1) extends it home winning streak to 29 matches in-a-row with the effort as Carson-Newman has lost four consecutive road trips in the series history.
Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) led all players with 36 digs on the night. Elena Vasquez (Riverside, Calif.) matched a career-high with 28 assists and Madison Rademacher (Broomfield, Colo.) added 15 helpers.
On the night, the Eagles posted 50 kills hitting .149 with 95 digs, 12 blocks and eight service aces while the Trojans notched 59 kills on a .139 clip with 89 digs, eight aces and six rejections.
Spurts were the theme of the game in the first frame. After facing a 4-0 sequence, Anderson ripped off six straight to jump out to a 13-9 lead. C-N responded with a 6-2 run to deadlock the score at 16. With the score knotted at 20, coach Todd Hay's crew won the final five to seize early control in the match.
Winning the first five and eight of the opening 10, Franklin's flock came out of the gates in the second blazing. The bulge swelled to eight at 20-12 only to see the Trojans close the gap to two points. C-N's edge held true however sealing the game on a service error by Hailee Wilhelm.
Despite eight attack errors and C-N hitting .237, Anderson held the upper hand for the majority of the game. The Eagles sandwiched 4-0 runs around a 4-0 sequence by the Trojans to open the game taking an 8-4 lead. A 7-2 run by the home team pushed it into the lead. Carson-Newman led 17-15 before giving up 10 of the final 14 to fall behind 2-1 in the match.
Trailing 10-8 in the fourth, C-N found its stride ripping off six points in-a-row taking a lead it would never concede. Anderson was able to get back within a point at 23-22 by a kill from Edwards and an ace from Rademacher sent the contest into the fifth set.
Emily Conlin produced an all-around match with 49 assists, 20 digs and six kills to lead the Anderson side of the net. Maya Learmonth registered 16 kills but made 13 hitting miscues and Kaitlyn Grube racked up 11 smashes.
Closing out the weekend, the Eagles make the short trek to Newberry Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. first serve. Video and stats will be provided with @CNathletics on Twitter providing the latest and greatest news and notes.
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