ROCK HILL, S.C. – The South Atlantic Conference named Morgan Ballard the Specialist of the Week and Marnie Streeter the Player of the Week Tuesday afternoon after the duo helped the Eagles start the season 2-0 in conference action and bring the team's winning streak to three matches.
It marks the first time since Oct. 27, 2015 that Carson-Newman swept the weekly honors when Maddie Borch and Anna Patton picked up the honors.
Ballard's week was highlighted by setting a SAC record for digs in a match with 58 in a four-set win at Mars Hill Saturday afternoon. The previous league mark was set by Jenny Young of Catawba versus Tusculum on Sept. 17, 2011 in a five-set outing. Caitlyn Dean held the mark for a SAC athlete in a four-set affair when she racked up 47 for the Pioneers against Anderson (S.C.) on Oct. 27, 2012.
"Going into the match, I was wanting to focus on getting my dig percentage up," Ballard analyzed. "Each set I wanted to get six or seven digs – that's a pretty good average. After the first set, I had 20 digs and I had no clue. Through the rest of the match I had to get at least six. I was pretty confident coming out of that fourth set. It was 25 or 30 – the best so far this season for me. After the match, I looked at my phone and there was a tweet that said I had 58 digs. I thought there was absolutely no way. It was true and I was in the moment."
In NCAA history, only two players have ever tallied more scoops in a four-set match across the three divisions as each had 60. Maggie Nowicki of Central (Iowa) posted the number on Oct. 6, 2007 and Jocelyn Decker of Millersville hit the mark on Oct. 4, 2005.
The NCAA record is 69 set by Jodi Cave of Angelo State in 1991. A total of nine student-athletes have had more than Ballard's 58 in a match of any length in the history of NCAA volleyball.
The Weaverville, N.C. native had double-digit scoops in each of the four sets as she nearly surpassed her career high for a match with 20 in the first frame. During the rest of the day, she posted 10, 15 and 13 respectively.
In a four-set win at Tusculum on Friday night, Ballard posted 19 digs to bring her weekly tally to 9.63 digs per set. Overall on the year the sophomore is averaging seven digs per set to rank her second nationally behind Lincoln Memorial's Erica Whiteaker and her tally of 7.80.
Streeter crushed the ball as C-N began league play over the weekend piling up 42 kills while hitting .244 against Tusculum and Mars Hill. After not posting double-digit kills in any of the first three matches of 2017, the sophomore exploded.
"I think this time I came in there with a lot more confidence," Streeter stated. "I know I had done it sometimes last year so I knew I just needed to get in that mindset again. If I did then I would be able to do it again.
"The first week I was kind of nervous. I was feeling out how to play in front of people again. The second week I came in and knew I had nothing to lose this time so I went out there with more confidence."
The Goldvein, Va. native has four matches with at least 20 kills in her career and set a career-high with 22 at Mars Hill on Saturday. She hit .231 against the Lions with a block and four digs.
Versus the Pioneers on Friday, she hit .259 with 20 kills, four digs and 1.5 blocks. Her season tally of 3.79 kills per set is good for second in the league.
The Eagles are on the road for the final time in September with trips to Newberry and Coker starting Friday night at 7 p.m. against the Wolves.
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