JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman posted a .337 attack percentage and limited Lincoln Memorial to a negative hitting percentage in a 25-18, 25-15, 25-8 sweep against the Railsplitters in South Atlantic Conference action Tuesday night at Holt Fieldhouse.
"I love the intensity and energy we have come out with the last two matches," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "This is a team that keeps developing their identity and who they want to be. We keep having little things to learn and we learn from them and are adapting. Our consistency level keeps rising. Saturday we had a second-set lull. Today we didn't have that."
Lincoln Memorial (2-7, 2-4) posted a minus-.101 hitting clip (18-27-89) marking the first time a Carson-Newman (6-3, 4-2) foe hit below zero in 46 matches and 697 days when Catawba hit minus-.022 on Oct. 28, 2017. It was the longest margin since Sept. 2, 2017 when Erskine hit minus-.151 (11-24-86).
The Eagles defense played a big role posting a season-high 16 rejections, their most in 69 matches and 1,047 days when the program had 15 against Lenoir-Rhyne on Nov. 12, 2016. It was the highest tally since stuffing 17 Anderson attacks on Oct. 21, 2016.
"When they hit it into our hands, we got blocks," Franklin said. "That's the thing about blocking you can only control so much. You have to hit it into you. We made them pay tonight. I think it's still something we can be more consistent with so that we are always making them pay. If we can do that then we can become a really good defensive team."
The Railsplitters had won three straight matches in Jefferson City and six of the last seven overall in the series as the Eagles get their first sweep of LMU since two during the 2014 season.
Katie Parnell (Atlanta) led the charge at the net with a career-high 5.5 total blocks besting her previous margin of five set on Oct. 23, 2018 against Tusculum. She added three kills on five swings.
"We have been working on seeing the set and where the pass goes," Parnell said. "We had really good eyes tonight so we were focusing on getting our eyes to the setter and really seeing what's going on, not just seeing her but seeing what she's doing, her handwork. That really helped us to get to the ball and our hands straight over which led to good blocks."
Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) chipped in nine kills to lead the offense adding five blocks assists, one of four players with at least that figure. Kendall Cooley (Castle Rock, Colo.) registered seven kills on 10 attacks without a mistake.
Overall, the numbers for C-N read 35 kills hitting .337 with the 16 blocks, 39 digs and nine service aces. The score was tied eight times and the lead changed hands on four occasions.
Carson-Newman's block controlled the first frame posting seven rejections to hold Lincoln Memorial to a minus-.138 hitting percentage. With the score tied at eight, the Eagles rattled off nine of 11 to take a 17-10 bulge. The home side won the final three points capped by a kill from Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) to take the first.
Four ties saw the teams knotted up at five apiece in the second stanza until the Eagles rattled off six of seven points to go ahead 11-6. LMU whittled the difference down to three at 12-10 only to see the home group win eight of nine to go ahead 22-12 on a kill from Oldenburger. The junior once again ended a set with a smash.
After losing the first point of the third set, the Eagles scored eight unanswered points, one of two runs of 8-0 in the game. The other expanded the margin to 21-6 with C-N sealing the match when Kaley Long sent a ball out of bounds.
The Railplitters had 18 kills, two blocks, four aces and 33 digs as a team failing to hit a positive number in any of the three games. Lindsey Nartker led the team with six kills. Emily Walter had 14 assists and Sarah Jones picked up 18 digs.
A road trip looms for the Eagles to close out September with a Friday night match against Coker at 7 p.m. starting off the weekend.
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