Eagles capture four set win against Catawba

JEFFERSON CITY, TENN – In its first home game since September 17, the Carson-Newman Eagles (8-6, 3-4) snared a four set match victory over the Catawba Indians (2-7, 2-5) Friday night at Holt Fieldhouse. The home team hit a season-best .303 in the match winning 25-17, 25-18, 21-25 and 25-12.

"I was just elated to see defense and offense finally clicking together on the same night," head coach Shannon Mincey said. "Tonight it was great to see and equal balanced attack."

In the opening frame, the Eagles led most of the way. With a 5-4 advantage, Carson-Newman reeled off nine of 11 points to snag a 14-6 lead. Mincey's group closed out the stanza on a kill from freshman JaLesa Beaver (Katy, Texas).

Beaver had three kills on as many attempts while junior setter Kristen Pickett (Cleveland, Tenn.) recorded 13 assists as the roster hit .286 overall.

It was another sizeable run in the second game that helped the Eagles storm out to a lead. After the two sides exchanged the first couple rallies, Carson-Newman reeled off seven of ten points courtesy of several attack errors by the Indians. The home side took the set on an attack error, the ninth of the game for Catawba. Through the first two sets, the Indians were hitting an even .000.

Junior outside hitter Lauren Santarelli (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led both sides with five kills on eight attempts as Pickett dished out 12 more helpers.

The Eagles were seemingly in control of a back-and-forth third set that saw eight ties and three lead changes. Carson-Newman had a 16-13 edge until the Indians won 12 of the final 17 points to earn the victory.

Catawba hit .464 in the set on 16 kills. Junior outside hitter Rachel Harper (Chattanooga, Tenn.) cranked out six kills to lead the way for the Eagles.

Carson-Newman ran away with the final game after a slow start. Holding a 5-4 lead, the Eagles saw five different players record kills during a 7-0 run en route to their second straight victory.

Harper notched eight kills in a frame that saw Carson-Newman hit .560 with three team blocks. Pickett finished with her fourth straight set with double-digit assists and she handed out 11 of them.

"Team ownership is huge in any sport," Mincey said. "We have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than ourselves."

In the match, Carson-Newman hit .303 with 11 team blocks. Harper led the team with 21 kills to go along with seven digs. Santarelli pounded out 11 kills and six scoops. Pickett tallied 48 assists and five assists.

Senior right side Emily Schultz (Atlanta, Ga.) notched nine kills on a .429 hitting percentage and five block assists.

Catawba hit .167 in the contest and was led by senior Emily Richardson who had ten kills.

Carson-Newman plays host to Queens (N.C.) in the first meeting between the two programs Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. The game will be available with video by visiting cneagles.com/live.