Stifling defense propels Eagles to sweep of Indians

Box Score

SALISBURY, N.C. – For the third time in 2017, Carson-Newman limited a foe to a negative attack percentage as Catawba posted a minus-.022 hitting clip. The Eagles picked up a sweep 25-23, 25-16 and 25-18 Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym in South Atlantic Conference play.

"It has been a long week for our team," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "A couple emotional five-set road victories showed their toll a little today especially early in the match. We had great persistence from our athletes to grind out the first set which was huge towards us winning today. Catawba handed us plenty of points today but I felt our defense and block was very solid and made it tough on the Indians."

With the victory, Carson-Newman (14-10, 9-7) stretches its winning streak to six matches while the three efforts with a foe below zero matches the 2010 team for the most such outings this decade.

Meanwhile, Catawba (3-17, 1-15) drops its 15th straight match, the ninth-longest skid in Division II, and has lost eight of its last 10 to the Eagles.

Anna Patton (Franklin, Tenn.) racked up a double-double with 25 assists and 12 digs while notching four service aces.

With 15 kills, Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) has had no fewer than 14 over her last five matches played as the sophomore notched six digs.

The back row was paced by the league's leader in digs, Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.), as the sophomore had 24. Hannah Robertson (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) added 11 scoops to pace the defense.

In the opening set, the Indians took charge winning eight of the first 10 points. The lead expanded to 10 points at 16-6 when C-N began to make a run winning seven straight rallies to pull within three. Catawba opened the advantage to 21-15 when C-N won six straight to tie the score. After bouncing back-and-forth, Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) capped the comeback with a kill to give C-N a first-set win.

Catawba held a 5-3 lead in the second stanza when C-N rattled off six of the next seven to go on top 9-6. The Indians won consecutive points just once the rest of the set as back-to-back attack errors capped the frame.

The Eagles opened the third set by winning the first eight points. The closest the Indians could get the rest of the way was five points as Erin Edwards (Midlothian, Va.) put the outing on ice with a kill.

Carson-Newman posted a .149 attack percentage with 72 digs, seven blocks and four aces while Catawba had 77 digs, three aces and two blocks.

Rachel Stanford was the statistical star for Ginger Hamric's group with 15 assists and 10 digs on the day. Allison Benton led all players in the match with 31 digs. Macy Eidenburger led the offense with eight kills while picking up 13 digs.

"We have two days to recover and remain sharp for a big match Tuesday in Holt versus a Mars Hill team who has some big wins recently and have been challenging the top teams in the conference," Franklin said. "We look forward to having our home crowd help us keep our winning streak going."

The Eagles will get two days to prepare for Mars Hill looking to extend the winning streak to seven matches. Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. the Lions are in town for an affair that will be broadcast on the Eagle Sports Network. Fans can find the link on cneagles.com/live.

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