JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Megan Oldenburger led all players with 12 kills leading Carson-Newman's .210 hitting percentage in a 25-14, 25-15 and 25-21 sweep of Tusculum Saturday afternoon at Holt Fieldhouse in South Atlantic Conference play.
Carson-Newman (4-1, 2-0) opens the SAC slate with two sweeps in-a-row for the first time since taking the first three decisions of the 2015 conference campaign toppling Tusculum (2-4, 0-2) in straight sets.
"It starts with your first contact," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "We have been working hard on getting serve receive in place. We have progressively gotten better each week and each day. I thought that was on display all weekend especially today. When you get the ball in system, you can distribute the offense and balance it out. Then you have hitters who take quality swings."
Oldenburger posted a scorching .400 efficiency mark needing just 25 swings to lead all players offensively. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native added nine digs.
"I think understanding from yesterday that we were working on hitting clean shots," Oldenburger said. "We try to better each ball. Having that in mind led to the results today. It's so different this year being able to depend on everyone takes a lot of pressure off of me and Marnie. I think it's really awesome and can take us really far this season."
Elena Vasquez (Riverside, Calif.) handed out 15 assists and Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) paced all players with 20 digs adding three assists and three aces. Madison Rademacher (Broomfield, Colo.) finished an assist shy of a double-double with 10 digs.
As a team, C-N posted a .210 hitting percentage with 33 kills, 54 digs, 11 blocks and five assists against a .000 margin, 22 kills, 51 digs, six blocks and one assist.
It was an error-filled first frame by Tusculum who made 10 attack errors as the Eagles needed just eight kills to run away with the game. After the Pioneers closed within one at 4-3, C-N reeled off 20 of the next 28 to get to set point. The home side needed five tries before Oldenburger put the finishing touches on a victory.
Tusculum surged out of the gates in the second taking an early 6-3 lead before the Eagles rattled off seven straight to force a timeout. An 8-2 expanded the bulge to 18-10 as the Eagles coasted to a victory clinching a 2-0 match lead on a swing by Katie Parnell (Atlanta).
The third set turned into the most competitive of the day with six ties and Tusculum holding a league for the first half and as late as 15-14. During that sequence, the Eagles scored eight of 11 points to go on top 19-16. It was a sufficient lead with Oldenburger putting the finishing touches with her 12th blast of the day.
Britney Shawel led the Tusculum side of the net with 14 digs and setter Elise Carmichael handed out 10 assists with six digs. Taylor Blythe led the way with five kills and a .308 clip. The Pioneers posted a positive hitting margin in the third set after being negative in the first two.
The Eagles close out the month with five of six on the road beginning with a trek to Mars Hill Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against the Lions looking to begin league play 3-0 for the first time since 2015 when the unit opened 5-0.
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