FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman beach volleyball team did not get off to the start that they were looking for to open up the 2017 season, dropping both matches on Friday afternoon.
"We really weren't sure what to expect considering we had no idea the strengths of our opponents." Carson-Newman beach volleyball coach Kyle Peck said, "We wanted to focus on our side of the net."
Carson-Newman (0-2) has not started the season with consecutive losses since there inaugural season in 2015. That season the Eagles lost 13-straight to begin the year, all were against Division I opponents.
Match One Central Arkansas 5, Carson-Newman 0
The Eagles got off to a rough start against Central Arkansas (1-0) on Friday morning, losing all five matches in straight-sets.
The No.1 pairing of Anna Patton (Franklin, Tenn.) and Morgan Harlan (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) lost the first set 21-8 and the second set 21-10. The Eagles No. 2 duo of Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) and Taylor Lowe (Franklin, Tenn.) stayed competitive throughout the match against Central Arkansas' Kate Elman and Heather Schnars. Streeter and Lowe lost the first set 21-17, and the second set 21-18.
Eileen Anderson (Pittstown, N.J.) and Alex Biro (Ooltewah, Tenn.) played at the No. 3 position for the Eagles and found some success very early on in the match. The duo pushed the tandem of MC Rogers and Kristine Hjembo to the limit in set one, before losing 24-22. Set two was the opposite of the first set with Anderson and Biro losing 21-7.
At the No. 4 position Allie Foster (Johnson City, Tenn.) and newcomer Morgan Ballard played with confidence in the first set falling 21-15 to the tandem of Mackenzie Dear and Kellen Dunn. The duo of Foster and Ballard could not continue the success from the first set into the second set, falling 21-6.
Rounding out the match with the No. 5 team was Natalie Harris (Monroe, N.C.) and Hannah Robertson (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.). The duo lost the first set 21-12 and the second set 21-7, giving Central Arkansas the sweep over the Eagles.
Match Two Austin Peay 4, Carson-Newman 2
The Eagles were able to come away with some positives in the second match of the day against the host school Austin Peay (3-9).
The No.3 pairing of Anderson and Streeter lost the first set 21-14, but they battled back in the second set to win 21-17 and to force a decisive third set. The duo was able to edge out their competition for a 15-13 win.
The Eagles also picked up a win from the No. 6 pairing of Abbie McFarlane (McKinney, Texas) and Kendall Cooley (Castle Rock, Colo.). The duo won the first set 21-13, but ended up losing the second set 21-16. The tandem won the final set 15-11 to give the Eagles their second point of the afternoon.
The No.1 pairing of Lowe and Patton played two very competitive matches against Austin Peay. The duo lost the first set 21-17 and the second set 21-17. The No.2 pairing of Harlan and Biro lost the first set 21-9. In the second set the tandem battled back to win 21-16, but fell in the final set 15-8.
The No. 4 pairing of Ballard and Foster played a hard fought three set match. The duo won the first set 21-18, but then lost the final two sets 21-18 and 15-7. The No. 5 pairing of Harris and Robertson lost in straight sets 21-16 and 21-18.
"We competed really hard, but our lack of practice time hurt us today," Peck said. "We just need more reps and ball control practice. I'm very encouraged about our future matches this season."
The Eagles will be back at tomorrow afternoon against Missouri Baptist and UT Martin.