September 20, 2013

Newberry snaps Eagles three match winning streak

NEWBERRY, S.C. – The Newberry Wolves (7-1, 2-1) won the final three sets to defeat the Carson-Newman Eagles (6-4, 1-2) in a five set match Friday evening at Eleazer Arena. After Carson-Newman won the first two sets 26-24 and 25-16, Newberry took the final three frames 25-17, 25-21 and 15-8.

"It was a very tough loss for our program," head coach Shannon Mincey said. "We gave up so many points in the last three sets. Our players positioned themselves to win and got comfortable allowing Newberry's offense to attack more."

Mincey's crew fell behind 5-2 before winning six of the next seven points to take an early lead in the first set. Carson-Newman never trailed again as Newberry tied the score at 24 before the visiting squad won the final two points.

Junior outside hitter Rachel Harper (Chattanooga, Tenn.) led the club with five kills and five digs.

The second stanza featured ten ties and two lead changes. The Eagles took eight of the final ten points to take control of the match at two games to none.

Junior setter Kristen Pickett (Cleveland, Tenn.) dished out 13 assists in a frame that saw her side hit .282, led by Harper's six kills on ten attempts.

With the score tied at nine in the third set, the Wolves reeled off seven of the next nine points and held on to take their first game of the match.

Harper recorded five of the team's seven kills as the Eagles yielded a .407 hitting percentage in set number three.

In a tight fourth set, Carson-Newman trailed most of the way, but was able to pull within a point at 22-21. Newberry won the final three points to force a fifth and decisive frame.

Junior outside hitter Lauren Santarelli led the way with three kills on five attempts while freshman libero Taylor Lowe (Franklin, Tenn.) had five digs.

The two sides traded the first six rallies in the final set before the home team won four straight points, a deficit the visitors could never overcome.

"We shifted from being in control to only defending," Mincey said of what changed the match. "This should be used as a learning tool, but a very hard learning lesson."

Harper tallied her seventh double-double of the season as the junior racked up 21 kills (.273 hitting percentage) and 16 digs.

Pickett recorded her first double-double of the season as the junior notched 40 assists and 10 digs.

Senior right side Emily Schultz (Atlanta, Ga.) and sophomore Kiayna O'Neal (Katy, Texas) each added six kills while Santarelli put away eight balls. Lowe finished with 21 digs to lead the team in that statistic.

The Eagles will take on Anderson Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. For additional coverage, follow @CNathletics on Twitter or visit cneagles.com.