Mars Hill tops volleyball in three sets

MARS HILL, N.C. – After a victory on Saturday, the Carson-Newman Eagles (9-10, 4-8) took a straight set defeat at the hands of the Mars Hill Lions (10-6, 8-4) 25-13, 25-23 and 25-22 Tuesday evening at Stanford Arena.

"We couldn't shake our mistakes," head coach Shannon Mincey said. "I attempted to pull from the bench to try to give us something we could pull from just to get something going. When the night starts off with several players off, it is so hard to adjust."

The Lions surged out to an 8-0 advantage in the initial stanza as Carson-Newman racked up five attack errors. Six points would be the closest the Eagles would get as Mars Hill reeled off six of the final seven rallies.

Freshman libero Taylor Lowe (Franklin, Tenn.) and junior outside hitter Lauren Santarelli (Colorado Springs, Colo.) each compiled seven digs as the team hit -.085.

The visiting side came out firing in the second set as Carson-Newman jumped ahead 5-1 on a kill by junior outside hitter Rachel Harper (Chattanooga, Tenn.). The Eagles held the lead most of the game, but, with the score tied at 23, Mars Hill won the final two points of the game to take a 2-0 advantage.

There were eight ties in the second frame, but the Lions outhit the Eagles .326 to .250. Harper racked up eight kills for a .412 hitting percentage. Junior setter Kristen Pickett (Cleveland, Tenn.) dished out 13 assists.

Carson-Newman battled in the third game, but could never gain a lead. The Eagles trailed by five on multiple occasions, but came back to tie the score at 22 before dropping the final three points.

In the contest, Carson-Newman was held to a .093 hitting percentage, its lowest effort this season.

"I attempted different tactic, but to no avail," Mincey said. "Mars Hill's defense was very consistent and we couldn't find a hole."

Harper was the lone player with double-digit kills as she tallied 11 kills and seven digs. Pickett finished with 31 assists and five scoops.

Santarelli notched seven kills and a season-high 18 digs while Lowe had 17 digs.

Mars Hill hit .222 as a club led by 14 kills from Marissa Wixson and 13 kills from MaryKate Griffin.

The Eagles have the weekend off before returning to action next Tuesday night at Tusculum for a 7 p.m. first serve.