JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – A valiant comeback in the third set put Carson-Newman in position to halt a five-match winning streak for Anderson but after five match points the Trojans earned a four-set win 25-19, 25-19 and 25-27 and 25-22 Friday evening at Holt Fieldhouse in South Atlantic Conference play.
"We just don't execute at the levels the game demands yet," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "We are working towards it. We are dedicated to this. They got to take a little more personal responsibility but I have no doubts that they will. We will learn to play the game within the standards that we need to win at this level. Know this, the Eagles are working their tails off. The Eagles are committed to building it. It is proud as a coach to see your kids compete that way. As frustrated as we get with them, we are proud of the competitive level that they have and that they will come back swinging the next day."
Carson-Newman (6-6, 4-5) has now lost four of its last five outings and three straight to Anderson (11-3, 5-1) as the Trojans' unbeaten string reaches six matches.
The Trojans entered play ranked second in the league in hitting percentage as the Eagles limited their opponent to a .171 hitting clip. C-N hit .126 at the net and committed 15 service errors.
Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) kept her strong sophomore campaign rolling as tied for the match lead with 17 kills to go along with nine digs and 1.5 blocks.
Posting a career high, Emily Harnischfeger (Macedon, N.Y.) notched 10 kills on a .281 hitting percentage coupled with nine digs.
Each setter for Franklin's group finished with a double-double as Anna Patton (Franklin, Tenn.) picked up her sixth of the season with 16 assists and 13 digs. Elena Vasquez (Riverside, Calif.) tallied a career-high 20 assists and had 11 digs to pick up her second double-double of the year.
After falling behind 3-1, Harnischfeger capped a 5-0 spurt for the Eagles with a kill. The home group's lead stretched to four points at 12-8 when Anderson coach Todd Hay used a timeout. Out of the break, the Trojans won six unanswered in a sequence that saw the visitors win 12 of the next 15 points. It gave the team the separation it needed to close out the frame as Marissa Mitter drove a kill to the ground to cap the game.
The second stanza featured eight ties including at 17-17 with neither team leading by more than two at the outset. After winning eight of the final 10 rallies, the Trojans closed out the set on a service ace from Emily Conlin.
Anderson's streak of 16 consecutive sets won dating back to Sept. 16 came to an in an emotional third set. At the start, Anderson opened up its largest lead of the match at 14-7. Carson-Newman responded by taking six of the next seven to pull within two. The Eagles knotted the score at 21 only to see the Trojans take back-to-back points. C-N would face three match points before taking the final three rallies as Hannah Robertson (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) picked up an ace to cap the comeback.
The two clubs traded the first 12 rallies of the fourth set before Anderson captured a two-point lead that would hold up the rest of the match. After taking a three-point lead at 21-18, the two squads went back-and-forth as Rachel Burts finished the match with a kill.
Mitter finished the night with 17 kills and nine digs to lead the offensive effort while Kathryn Hughes racked up 12 smashes.
Emily Conlin led all players with 42 assists picking up 12 digs along the way. Emily Conard registered a match-high 23 digs from the libero spot.
The Eagles step out of conference for a match Saturday evening at 5 p.m. when they play host to Francis Marion. Pre-game coverage starts at 4:45 on the Eagle Sports Network that can be found on cneagles.com/live.
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