October 5, 2013

Eagles drop heartbreaking five set match

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Queens (N.C.) University Royals (3-7, 3-5) snapped the Carson-Newman Eagles (8-7, 3-5) two-game winning streak with a five set victory that saw the visiting school win 23-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23 and 15-13.

"It is very frustrating to come off a high note Friday to suffering an upset on Saturday," head coach Shannon Mincey said. "I was hoping the experience of already being up 2-0 would propel our team to be more victorious. However, unforced errors in the fourth and fifth sets sent us out without the win."

In a set that saw 13 ties and four lead changes, Carson-Newman outdueled Queens in the first frame tying the score at 23 on a service ace from junior outside hitter Rachel Harper (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and winning the match on two points awarded by the officials.

Harper compiled a .800 hitting percentage as she racked up eight kills. Junior setter Kristen Pickett (Cleveland, Tenn.) had 11 assists as she led an offense that hit .367 in the game.

The Eagles led 19-11 until the Royals stormed back into the contest to trail by just two points until Carson-Newman took the second stanza on a service error.

Senior right side Emily Schultz (Atlanta, Ga.) and junior outside hitter Lauren Santarellli (Colorado Springs, Colo.) each tallied four kills. The team blocked four kill attempts by the visitors.

The two sides went back-and-forth, but with the score tied at 17, Queens ran off eight of 11 points to stave off elimination.

The Royals hit .349 and accumulated three blocks in the game. Santarelli notched four kills.

Queens took the fourth set winning two of the final three points in a game that saw nine ties and four lead changes.

Harper smacked seven kills while Pickett dished out 12 assists.

Carson-Newman led 11-8 in the final set, but Queens came back to tie the score at 12 before completing the comeback to defeat the Eagles.

 "The good thing is my upperclassmen have the opportunity to have the ball hands in big moments," Mincey said. "I know they will persevere through this and continue to challenge themselves to succeed."

Harper led the offense with 21 kills and 11 digs, her ninth double-double of the year. Santarelli hit .333 as she cranked out 17 kills. Schultz also finished in double-figures with ten kills and five block assists.

Pickett finished with 45 assists, 10 digs and five kills as the home team hammered out a .289 hitting percentage. Freshman libero Taylor Lowe (Franklin, Tenn.) had 18 digs.

The Eagles embark on a five-game road trip beginning Tuesday, October 8 at Lincoln Memorial at 7 p.m.  For the best coverage follow @CNathletics on Twitter or visit cneagles.com.