JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. –Playing its one home match sandwiched in a road trip, Carson-Newman returns to Holt Fieldhouse for a Tuesday evening affair against South Atlantic Conference foe Lincoln Memorial starting at 7 p.m.
The Eagles have proven to be one of the stronger point scoring teams in the league ranking second in blocks per set with 2.44 and second in service aces with 2.22. Despite ranking sixth in attack percentage, Carson-Newman (5-3, 3-2) has posted a hitting clip of at least .200 in four of the last six outings. It is the first time since Oct. 9-17, 2015 that the team has had stretch with that level of efficiency.
C-N has won each of its last three SAC home matches and seven of its last nine. Both of its losses have come to fellow Volunteer State institutions, a five-set loss to Tusculum on Oct. 23, 2018 and a sweep to LMU on Oct. 30, 2018.
In recent years the all-time series has slanted towards Lincoln Memorial (2-6, 2-3) as it enters Tuesday 50th tussle with wins in six of the last seven and 12 of the last 17 to stretch out the edge between the two clubs to 32-17. The Eagles have lost three straight meetings in Jefferson City since a five-set victory on Sept. 22, 2015.
In 2018, the 'Splitters earned the season series victory for the second time in the last three years with a four-set win at home and a sweep at Mossy Creek. The C-N attack was not the issue as the club hit .171 and .190 in the two matches. Coach Dave Franklin's crew committed 15 service miscues, 34 attack errors and an unsightly 13 ball-handling mistakes.
Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) produced double-digit kill efforts in both matches with a combined 21 while Katie Parnell (Atlanta) registered 7.5 rejections across the seven sets to lead the individual standouts for the Eagles.
Tied with Carson-Newman for third in the preseason poll was LMU, the team that captured the final at-large spot in the NCAA Regionals thanks to a season sweep of the Eagles and a timely SAC semifinal win over Anderson. The Railsplitters were bounced by USC Aiken in the first round of the postseason.
Coach Jenny Michael's team has produced two wins on the season, sweeps of Tusculum and UVa-Wise, but it has lost three consecutive five-set affairs. The Railsplitters have won the first set in each of those matches but opponents have posted a .333 hitting percentage in the fifth set.
From as stats perspective, the team is in the middle of the pack across the board with the exception of blocking where it is ninth with 1.68 blocks per stanza as it has not registered a match with double-digit rejections so far.
Perennial all-conference libero Erica Whiteaker graduated but Sarah Jones has stepped in and is fifth in the league with 5.10 digs per set producing two 30-plus dig efforts over her last three.
2018 second-team All-SAC outside hitter Rylee is the leading returner but ranks third on the roster in kills per set. She is showing signs of life with 10 kills in three of her last four outings. Cate Hosenfeld leads the offense with 2.81 smashes per game with four-straight double-digit contests.
The match will be broadcast on cneagles.com/live as the Eagle Sports Network provides the sights and sounds from the friendly confines.
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