JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – With four matches remaining in the 2019 regular season, Carson-Newman plays the penultimate week of competition at home starting with a Tuesday night affair against Mars Hill in a critical South Atlantic Conference contest at Holt Fieldhouse.
With a win on Tuesday night, the Eagles would record a 20-win season for the first time since 2015 when the unit went 29-8 en route to a region title. Carson-Newman (19-6, 13-5) has recorded 10 years with at least 20 victories with six coming in the last 12 campaigns.
A triumph would also provide the program its 12th home win of the season. It would match the second-most in school history with teams from 2004, 2008 and 2015. The all-time record for most home wins in a season came during the 2002 year where the Eagles went 13-1 during their school-record 31-win season.
While C-N holds a 39-24 all-time series lead, it is 4-5 over since the start of the 2015 campaign. Neither side has swept the regular season meetings since the Eagles did so in 2014.
Mars Hill (14-11, 11-7) won in four frames on Sept. 17 and is looking for its first SAC season sweep of the Eagles since 1998. Put an asterisk next to that year because C-N beat the Lions in five sets during an August non-conference match. The Lions won all four meetings in 1997.
In the first meeting, the Eagles took the first set 25-20 and led 24-21 in the second before losing four straight and falling 29-27. C-N never rebounded falling 25-23 and 25-20 in the final two games to seal a match win despite both clubs hitting below .100 on the night.
Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) matched her career high with 28 digs adding a team-high 13 kills. Each C-N setter also posted double-doubles with Elena Vasquez (Riverside, Calif.) piling up 16 assists and 15 digs. Madison Rademacher (Broomfield, Colo.) tacked on 12 and 13 respectively.
Four Lions finished in double figures in kills on the night led by 14 from Sally Anne Johnson. Ully Martins gobbled up 33 of the team's 124 digs out of the back row.
Coach Tony Fontanelle's team had won four straight matches before losing in four sets at Queens on Saturday evening. The Lions are two games behind Carson-Newman in the SAC standings with four matches to go. They are one game clear of Lenoir-Rhyne.
Mars Hill leads the nations in digs per set with 21.57 per contest led by the conference's leader in the category, Martins, who is ninth in the nation with 5.96. The squad has failed to produce at least 60 scoops just three times this year with two of those coming in the first three matches of the year.
Outside of that category, the Lions are in the middle of the pack in the other areas ranking fifth in kills per set with 12.06. Sarah Goddard paces the team with 2.96 kills per set ranking seventh in the league.
A byproduct of the team's defense, the club leads the country in swings per set with almost 42 per match this year with three players ranking in the top 12 of the conference in total attacks.
Tuesday night's contest will air in high definition on the Eagle Sports Network by visiting cneagles.com/live for the broadcast starting 10 minutes before first serve from Holt Fieldhouse.
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