JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Junior Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and senior Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) each recorded 12 kills apiece as the Carson-Newman Eagles cruised past the Mars Hill Lions, 3-0.
"They really stepped up today," coach Ashley Tiernan said postgame. "We talked each attacker we were facing and they adjusted to every single person that we needed to and did such a great job tonight."
For the Eagles (20-6, 14-5 South Atlantic Conference), the win continues to distance the Eagles from the Lions (14-12, 11-8 SAC) as the two sides entered into Tuesday night's contest at Holt Fieldhouse as the fourth and fifth-placed teams in the SAC separated by two games. The cushion provided will allow C-N to focus their efforts at the top of the table, facing two of the top three teams in Lenoir-Rhyne and Queens in the final three games of the season.
In the opening set, both sides remained within arms-length of one another, reaching all the way to a 24-23 advantage for Eagles before a Mars Hill timeout. The stoppage proved beneficial for the Lions, as they were able to claim two of the next three points to put themselves up 25-24 and on set point. A couple of quick kills fired by Streeter and junior outside hitter Erin Edwards (Midlothian, Va.) were able to turn the tides of the set and help claim a 27-25 set victory.
The second set saw Carson-Newman down 16-14 before Tiernan swiftly called a timeout. C-N would go on to win 11 of the next 14 points to cruise to a 25-19 set victory. Streeter and Oldenburger each registered four kills, with libero Morgan Ballard adding eight digs in the set.
Up 2-0 in the match, C-N mashed the pedal to the floor in the final set, taking a lead at 3-2 and never looking back until the final whistle.
Final set scores were 27-25, 25-19, 25-14. It is the 13th sweep of an opponent on the season for C-N. The Eagles are now on a five-game winning streak, with four of the five victories coming by way of the broomstick.
"We've just really played well as a unit, really well, and just kept our confidence," Streeter said. "We really had confidence this game and to keep our composure even in high-pressure situations."
With the win, C-N has recorded a 20-win season for the first time since 2015 when the unit went 29-8 en route to a region title. C-N has now racked up 20-win seasons in six of the last 12 seasons.
The victory provided the program its 12th home win of the season, matching the second-most in school history with teams from 2004, 2008 and 2015. The all-time record for most home wins in a season came during the 2002 year where the Eagles went 13-1 during their school-record 31-win season.
Saturday is Senior Day for the Eagles where a half-dozen seniors will be honored at Holt Fieldhouse against Lenoir-Rhyne in the final home match of the 2019 regular season. Opening serve is set for 2 p.m.