JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman dropped a five-set match for the seventh time in 2016 as Lenoir-Rhyne won its fifth consecutive contest 29-27, 18-25, 16-25, 25-15 and 15-9 in South Atlantic Conference Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse.
"The ball control stayed consistent tonight," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "It gave us chances to side out and we won that war in sets two and three. It's something we have been really working on and it's been our Achilles heel the whole year. In sets four and five, the hitting errors crept up on us and hurt our side-out percentage. The energy tonight was really good. It's been a rough year obviously and these kids showed that they were not going to let the season beat them."
33 total rejections were tallied between the two teams as L-R tallied 18. It was the most by a C-N opponent since Tusculum picked up 19.5 on Sept. 18, 2007.
The first frame had six ties and four lead changes of the 12 and eight such stats in the match. The largest lead for either side was four points by L-R thrice including at 24-20. The Eagles won the next five to get a set point before the two teams traded five straight points. Back-to-back C-N attack errors gave the opening set to the Bears.
Ahead by one point at 8-7, Carson-Newman won six of the next eight to push the lead to 14-10. The largest lead in the set for the Eagles was eight and sophomore Allie Foster (Johnson City, Tenn.) clinched the set with a smash down the line.
The Eagles tallied four blocks and held L-R to a .029 attack percentage in the third frame as they jumped out to a 5-1 lead. The Bears closed the gap to three on a couple occasions including at 16-13 when C-N rattled off five of the next six. Consecutive service aces from junior setter Anna Patton (Franklin, Tenn.) put the home team ahead 2-1.
The visitors captured nine of the first 12 points in the fourth set. With the score at 10-5, Lenoir-Rhyne used a 9-2 run to take a 12-point lead and used the cushion to even the match.
Four blocks from L-R forced C-N to commit eight attack errors in the fifth stanza. The Eagles won five of the first seven points only to see the Bears win seven of the next nine to take a 9-7 lead. Carson-Newman pulled within a point at 10-9 before Lenoir-Rhyne capped the match with five unanswered points.
Carson-Newman finished the match with a .088 attack percentage, 104 digs, 15 blocks and eight service aces while Lenoir-Rhyne notched a .150 hitting percentage with 109 digs, one service ace and 18 rejections.
Senior libero Taylor Lowe (Franklin, Tenn.) finished the match with a career-high 46 digs, the fourth-most in a Division II match this season. Her career closes out with a total of 2,261 digs to finish second behind Blaire Young's 2,550 mark from 2002-05. With 708 scoops in 2016, Lowe accumulates the fourth-most in a single season in school history.
Patton notched her 14th double-double of the season with 42 assists and 12 digs to go along with a career-high six kills and 2.5 blocks.
Freshman outside hitter Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) racked up her second-career 20-kill match with 20 smashes and six digs.
Brooke Redmond led Lenoir-Rhyne with 19 kills and 27 digs and Brandi Thomas finished with 12 smashes and 20 scoops. Emma Pope added 26 assists and 12 digs.
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