JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Leading 2-0, Carson-Newman could not find the knockout blow seeing its longest winning streak in five years come to a close against Anderson in five frames 25-20, 25-20, 18-25, 22-25 and 10-15 Friday evening in South Atlantic Conference play at Holt Fieldhouse.
"I give it to them," Carson-Newman coach Ashley Tiernan said. "They are a great, solid team. No matter what we tried to adjust tonight, some things just didn't fall our way. Some of our shots that we typically murder were flying out. Some of our serves at critical moments didn't fall on the court. A couple things just didn't go our way in that fifth set. We gave up way too many errors to come back from."
Carson-Newman (15-6, 9-5) sees it eight-match and 11th-longest winning streak in the nation end dropping a regular-season match for the seventh time in its last eight tries. The Trojans have now won 15 of their last 16 outings.
Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) matched a season high with 36 digs crossing the 2,000-dig mark in her C-N career and passing Jenna Rust for fourth on the school's ledger bringing her career tally to 2,021.
"She didn't want that ball to hit the ground," Tiernan said. "She just gave all-out effort. Because she plays that way we have other athletes that rise to the occasion and hustle their ends off too. She is just a very, very, very tough athlete and a great libero in general."
Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) paced the offense with 12 kills adding 19 digs for her seventh double-double of the year. Erin Edwards (Midlothian, Va.) produced 10 blasts with 3.5 blocks and five digs. Kaina Roehrkasse (Fort Collins, Colo.) notched a career-high five total blocks.
The Eagles produced a season-high 17 blocks, the most by a SAC team this year. C-N notched 45 kills on a .124 hitting percentage with 92 digs and six aces.
Despite few ties and one lead change, the first frame was hotly contested. C-N's largest lead was four until the final blow. Anderson fought back behind a 5-1 sequence to tie the tally at 17. At 21-20 Eagles, the home crew won the final four capping it on the ninth error from the Trojans to take set one.
Carson-Newman's blocking was otherworldly in the second totaling eight to force 13 attack errors from the Trojans. After a 7-1 burst from the visitors to take a 15-13 lead, C-N responded after a timeout with eight of 10 to take a 21-17 lead. Fittingly, the Eagles sealed the set on a rejection from Katie Parnell (Atlanta) and Kendall Cooley (Castle Rock, Colo.).
Anderson was hitting below zero over the first two stanzas before pounding out a .367 margin on 15 kills in the third frame. The teams were tied six times in the first 12 rallies before Anderson started to pull away using a 7-0 burst to jump ahead 15-7. C-N never could come up with a comeback attempt wining the set on a kill from Regan Duty.
It appeared that Anderson was going to run away with the fourth taking a 13-8 advantage before C-N reeled off seven in-a-row to go on top. The Eagles could not hold onto the lead seeing a 22-21 edge slip out of their grasp. The Trojans won the final four points to tie the match at two.
The two sides trade big spurts with Anderson winning seven unanswered to go on top 7-2 before the Eagles ripped off seven of nine to deadlock the margin at nine. C-N could never get over the hump dropping six of the final seven.
Emily Conlin produced her 12th double-double of the year with 45 assists and 29 digs to lead the Trojans. Anderson saw four players finish with at least 10 kills led by 12 from Hailee Wilhelm.
Overall, the visitors racked up 58 kills hitting .108 with 11 blocks, 103 digs and seven service aces. Anderson's attack percentage was its second-lowest of the year as the Eagles have produced a higher margin in both meetings this year but lost both in five frames.
The Eagles play Newberry at noon on Saturday to conclude their extended homestand at Holt Fieldhouse. Video will be available on cneagles.com/live by the Eagle Sports Network.
- CN -