JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Homecoming festivities on Carson-Newman's campus begin Friday evening with the Eagles playing host to Newberry at 7 p.m. before the unit plays Coker Saturday at noon in South Atlantic Conference play.
As part of the weekend, the Carson-Newman (9-10, 4-7) will welcome back the 2002 team during a ceremony Friday night in between the second and third sets. That unit holds the school record for wins in a season with 31 and is the only team to win a regular season and postseason conference championship.
"I think it will be an exciting experience getting to interact with some of the alumni," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "It's something we want to do – build the alumni base back up. I think it will be neat to show the legacy that they are trying to carry on as a program that has been highly competitive over the years. I think it will be good to talk to them and mingle with them and understand they are part of something bigger than themselves."
The Eagles look to snap a three-match losing streak to Newberry (8-11, 4-8) but still hold a commanding 33-10 overall all-time record against the Wolves that includes a 15-5 lead at Holt Fieldhouse.
In the first game between the two programs this season, Newberry won in five sets to extend its streak to six of the last 10 against C-N. Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) led the Eagles offensively with 14 kills and picking up nine digs in the process.
"Newberry is very scrappy," Franklin said. "Not overly physical. It's going to come down to controlling our side of the net. At their place, we didn't control our side very well. We gave them an opening and they took full advantage of it."
Three players for Newberry finished in double figures in kills led by Sidra Triplett's 16. Whitlow had 10 as did Mary Siebert who also notched 13 digs.
Newberry enters the weekend having dropped eight of its last 10 outings and are 1-5 in true road games in 2017 having won a total of four sets away from home. The lone victory as a visitor came on Oct. 7 at Catawba winning in five sets over the Indians. Toni-Anne Whitlow produced a match-high 22 kills in the contest.
Despite ranking last in the league with 1.22 blocks per set, the Wolves are fourth in digs per set at 19.25 led by 4.49 from Jordan. Foes are hitting .180 which ranks third from the bottom in the league.
With a .146 attack clip that ranks in the bottom portion of the nation, Triplett and Whitlow lead the team in kills with 2.68 per stanza each. Each has been held in check on trips as the duo combined has posted a .099 hitting margin.
After losing both meetings to Coker (10-11, 4-8) in 2016, C-N responded with a sweep of the Cobras on Sept. 16 to improve to 7-2 in the all-time series dating back to the 2013 campaign. It was the fifth sweep for the Eagles over the Cobras.
"Coker is a sneaky good team," Franklin said. "I thought when we won in three sets there that it was a really good win. That's not a weak team over there. They have beaten some people and taken some sets from some of the top teams in this conference. I think our girls saw that and know they have to be ready to bring it each day."
Streeter tallied double figures for the fourth straight match leading all players with 12 kills while hitting .300.
For the third time as a rookie, Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) tallied a double-double finishing the day with 10 kills and 10 digs while picking up a pair of solo blocks.
Madison Bingle led Coker offensively with 11 kills on just one miscue and eight digs. Christen Bragg notched a double-double with 31 assists and 12 digs.
Coker has won three of the five matches it has played in October but has lost three straight road efforts since taking down Newberry in five sets on Sept. 19.
Few teams nationally take as many swings as Coker averaging just shy of 41 per set to rank fifth in the country while players are producing a kill at a .136 clip, second to last in the nation.
The Cobras have three athletes in the top 15 in the SAC in digs per set as the team is eighth in the country with 19.95 each game. Kara Overholt leads the group with 5.01, fifth in the conference.
Both matches will be aired on the Eagle Sports Network on cneagles.com/live with a complimentary high definition video stream. Coverage will also be available on cneagles.com/livestats and on Twitter by following @CNathletics.
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