JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman (4-6, 2-3 SAC) has split the first two games of a four-game home stand and will try to establish a winning streak for the second time this season against a Lenoir-Rhyne club (7-4, 3-1 SAC) that has won back-to-back matches.
The Bears enter Holt Fieldhouse for Saturday's match at 2 p.m. with a sweep of Queens (N.C.) and a four-set win over no. 22 Wingate under their belts.
"Our matches with L-R always seem to be intense," Carson-Newman head volleyball coach Shannon Mincey said. "If I remember correctly, most matches we play go to the fifth set (the Eagles won twice versus L-R last year in five sets). That set is something our team has had their fair share of playing this season. So if that is the case Saturday, I hope our players prevail and show character through it."
The Bears feature a tenacious block led by Brittany Toffan's 1.37 b/s. Toffan's block tally leads the SAC and is 12th nationally.
Toffan will contend with an Eagles attack that features three players with more than 2.3 kills/set in Rachael Bowlin (Morristown, Tenn.), Rachel Harper (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Lauren Santarelli (Colorado Springs, Colo.).
The Eagles will try to carry over some momentum from the sweep of Brevard Thursday night where a balanced attack had four players with five kills or more but none with more than 10.
"Our focus was to work on an offensive system that put us in rhythm," Mincey said. "It was great to see Kiayna O'Neal (Katy, Texas) get in there and gain experience. We hope our confidence is high and will carry us into Saturday."
O'Neal finished with seven kills on 10 swings for a .700 hit percentage.
The L-R game is the third in five days for Carson-Newman and will be one of five over the course of nine days. Mincey said that makes her players' ability to focus paramount.
"It doesn't allow our players much recovery time," Mincey said. "Each opponent is so different that the focus of that opponent has to shift as well. There isn't much time to talk about the match because the next match is quickly approaching. "
First sever for the Eagles and Bears is slated for 2 p.m. Live stats and video of the game will be available at cneagles.com.