JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Looking to match a program record for home wins in a season, Carson-Newman plays its final regular season home match on Senior Day versus South Atlantic Conference foe Lenoir-Rhyne Saturday at 2 p.m. inside of Holt Fieldhouse.
The group of six seniors, Elena Vasquez (Riverside, Calif.), Alex Biro (Ootlewah, Tenn.), Kendall Cooley (Castle Rock, Colo.), Abbie McFarlane (McKinney, Texas), Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) and Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.), have combined for 510 matches, 3,646 digs, 2,304 kills and 1,155 assists.
"This year has been a very special year especially with this senior class," Carson-Newman coach Ashley Tiernan said. "I have gotten really close to all six of them. They are all very special people and they are going to do some awesome things with their lives when they leave here. This weekend means a lot not just to them and their families but to us as a coaching staff. They have really shown a lot of poise and competitiveness and I am really excited for them."
Ballard is a two-time all-conference selection and a two-time all-region pick, a nod that only one other player in school history has achieved. The libero is the program's leader in digs per set and ranks third in total digs. She ranks in the top 10 among active Division II players in both categories.
Streeter is a three-time SAC Player of the Week and two-time all-league honoree. Carson-Newman's all-time leader in attacks, Streeter ranks seventh in school history with 1,294 kills having led the team in the area 61 times.
While Saturday is the last regular season match on the schedule, one more victory would clinch a home outing in the SAC Tournament. The Eagles enter the weekend three matches clear Mars Hill and Lenoir-Rhyne with three contests left on the docket.
Holding a 39-26 all-time lead against Lenoir-Rhyne (15-11, 10-8), C-N has won each of the last five meetings dating back to a sweep on Sept. 22, 2017. It is the longest winning streak for either team in the series since the Eagles won six straight in 2008 and 2009. The Bears have lost 10 straight sets since taking the fourth frame at Mossy Creek on Oct. 5, 2018.
When the teams met 10 days ago, Streeter and Erin Edwards (Midlothian, Va.) produced 10 kills apiece as the team committed a total of seven errors. The Eagles notched nine rejections holding L-R to a .113 hitting clip.
After losing three matches in a row, the Bears swept Catawba on Saturday and will play Lincoln Memorial Friday night. Coach Dave Markland's team is 10-4 in road/neutral matches versus a 5-7 record at home.
Taylor Prall continues to lead the league in kills and points per set with 3.82 and 4.16 but the Eagles limited her to four kills and six errors on 21 swings in the first meeting. It matched a season low output in kills as she has 18 matches with double-digit smashes. Her 30 kills in a four-set win over Mars Hill on Sept. 24 are the second-most by a player in the country in four frames.
"We had a good game plan against her," Tiernan said. "They ended up taking her out of the second set completely. She didn't start the third set but she went in and played a little bit. She started to find a rhythm in the third set but never found a rhythm in the first set. We did a good job making sure we were on her with the block. We knew exactly where we needed to be and how to shut her down."
Lenoir-Rhyne ranks 17th in the nation in digs per set with 18.63 and 26th nationally in blocks per set with 2.26. Alexis Ivey leads the team in the latter category with 1.24 per game ranking second to C-N's Katie Parnell (Atlanta) in the league and 15th in the country.
Saturday afternoon's broadcast will feature a live video stream on the Eagle Sports Network starting 10 minutes prior to first serve by visiting cnaeagles.com/live to watch all of the action from Holt Fieldhouse.
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