Pivotal regional weekend feature four matches for C-N

C-N Match Notes (PDF)

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – With four teams that played in the NCAA Tournament coming to Mossy Creek this weekend, Carson-Newman has a prime opportunity to beef up its postseason resume when Georgia College, USC Aiken, Augusta and Lander coming to Holt Fieldhouse for a 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. contests on Friday and Saturday.

Turning a lens to the record book watch, Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) will join the 2,000-dig club early in the weekend needing 17 more to get to that tally for her career. Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) is knocking on the door of the top 10 in career kills at C-N needing 42 more to reach that mark.

Of all of the teams ahead for Carson-Newman (8-5), Georgia College (5-6) is the club with the least history as the teams have played just twice, wins by the Bobcats in 2016 and 2017.

After being the No. 6 seed in the 2018 Southeast Region and winning an opening round match over Augusta, Georgia College is scuffling of late losing three straight outings and four of the last five since starting the season 4-2.

Coach Gretchen Krumdieck's team has posted the second-fewest service aces per set with 0.66 on the year while ranking 213th in hitting percentage at .152. The area of strength for the Bobcats is digs per set with the unit placing 13th in the country. Otherwise the team is fifth or lower in the stat categories.

Libby Bochniak is getting an arm workout this season ranking third in the country with 12.52 attacks per set. She is turning that into 3.84 kills per set, a mark that is tops in the Peach Belt and 35th in the country. Jordyn Moellering leads the back row with 5.09 digs per set, third in the league.

Playing for the second time this year, the Eagles and the Pacers duel after USC Aiken (15-0) won in four frames in Harrogate, Tenn. on Sept. 6 to win a fifth straight meeting and seize a 9-4 all-time lead. This will be the fourth affair at Mossy Creek with C-N's lone win coming in straight stanzas on Sept. 11, 2004.

Aiken is rolling this season having lost a total of five sets this year with 11 sweeps on the ledger. The only time that the club has been pushed to the limit came on Sept. 28 against Flagler winning 15-13 in the fifth behind 11 kills in the set.

Coach Glenn Cox's team is one of the six remaining undefeated teams in the country and 10 across all three divisions. The Pacers are tied for the seventh-longest active winning streak among all three NCAA divisions and the fifth-longest in Division II. Stevenson's 19-game stretch in Division III is the longest.

The Pacers rank second in the country in opponent hitting percentage yielding a .077 hitting percentage second only to Wingate's .064 thanks to the third-most digs averaging 20.02. Two-time All-American Rebecca Martinez leads the crew with 6.14 per set, seventh in the country. She recently became the school's leader in digs and ranks second among Division II players in career digs.

Augusta (12-3) is C-N's opponent for the 14th time with C-N leading 10-3. The Eagles have won four straight and 10 of the last 11 with the lone blemish being a sweep on the Jaguars home floor on Sept. 13, 2014.

The Jaguars have won 10 of their last 11 outings entering the weekend playing three straight five-set affairs with a loss at West Georgia on Oct. 1 sandwiched in the middle. Unbeaten at home, the unit is 7-3 away from the friendly confines.

Coach Sharon Quarles's team is one of the elite serving teams in the nation with 2.24 service aces per set on the year posting five matches with double-digit aces and at least eight over the last six outings. Four players rank in the top 10 in the league in the category led by 0.45 from Kassie Till.

Augusta is the most efficient team in its conference hitting .234 as a unit on the year having hit at least .200 in each of the last five with two efforts of at least .430 in 2019. Madison Malloch and Jessica Hedrick are in the top six in the league in that area.

For the fifth consecutive season, C-N plays Lander (12-3) holding a 10-4 all-time edge in the series history leading it 10-4 and 6-2 in matches played at Mossy Creek. The Eagles have won four of the last six but dropped a five-set affair in 2018. The Bearcats have won back-to-back matches in the series once, in 2005 and 2006.

Lander's three losses this season have all been five-set setbacks where the unit has committed a combined 14 attack errors to just 23 kills. The Bearcats have already played 11 matches away from home going 9-2.

The No. 5 seed in the 2018 regional that was swept by Anderson, is one of the most balanced sides in the Peach Belt ranking towards the top in every category except blocks per set, sixth at 1.61, and aces per set, fifth at 1.64.

Kyra Ross and Hannah Hritz are a dynamic attacking duo ranking third and sixth in the league in kills per set with 3.57 and 2.84 kills per game on the year. Hannah McManus is 12th in the country in digs per set with 5.75 and Madilyn Reed is handing out 9.90 assists per set, second in the Peach Belt.

All four contests this weekend will air on cneagles.com/live courtesy of the Eagle Sports Network for wall-to-wall coverage. Live stats will be available on cneagles.com/livestats.

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