JEFFERSON CITY—Carson-Newman won its 13th home match of the year to match the 2002 team for the single-season record in a four set, 25-21, 25-15, 17-25 and 25-??, Saturday afternoon against Lenoir-Rhyne in the South Atlantic Conference home finale.
"That was the goal all along was to get opportunities was to get every senior at some point," Carson-Newman coach Ashley Tiernan said. "This game is bigger than just a game. It's humans. It's families and giving everybody a shot in whatever manner you are able to do that. We were able to do that for all six of them and pull out the win at the end."
Carson-Newman (21-6, 15-5) wins a sixth straight match against Lenoir-Rhyne (15-12, 10-9) for the first time since 2008-09 to improve to 40-26 in the all-time series. The Eagles have won 12 of the last 13 sets played between the two schools.
Marnie Streeter (Goldvein, Va.) led the way for the Eagles with 14 kills adding eight digs and 2.5 blocks. The senior brings her career total to 1,308 total kills moving into sixth place.
Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) tallied her ninth double-double of the season with 12 smashes and 15 digs hitting .257. Seven different players posted at least three kills on the night.
Elena Vasquez (Riverside, Calif.) posted 24 assists and Taylor Rohr (Windsor, Colo.) chipped in 20 more. Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) led all players in the match with 28 digs.
"It was awesome," Vasquez said. "We were all really excited. I think we are all so happy that all of our families are here at the same time. I think it's the first time that that has ever happened. We are doing really well. We just wanted to come out with a big win not just for us but for our families."
On the night, the Orange and Blue finished with 49 kills, a .199 hitting percentage with 14 blocks, 67 digs and five service aces. Lenoir-Rhyne ended the day with 46 kills hitting .115 with seven blocks, 79 digs and five aces.
The Bears took the early advantage sitting at 4-3 in the first frame before the Eagles ripped off nine of the next 11 to surge into a 12-6 lead. It proved to be more than enough as the visitors never got closer than three. Streeter capped the game with her sixth kill and the team's 17th of the first.
Powered by seven blocks, the Eagles ran away with the second stanza. An early 11-2 burst stretched the lead to 16-6. L-R whittled the deficit down to three on the heels of a 9-2 run prompting a timeout from Tiernan at 18-15. Out of the break, the Orange and Blue ripped off seven straight points to cap the game.
Lenoir-Rhyne ended a 12-set losing streak to Carson-Newman dating back to Oct. 5, 2018 in the third. C-N surged to a 9-6 lead only to give up eight of the next 10. After getting its lead cut to three, L-R won seven of the final nine points to extend the match.
In the fourth, the Eagles won seven of the first eight points but the visitors refused to go quietly using a 5-0 run at the end of the game to pull within a point at 22-21. C-N held strong winning the match on a kill from Kendall Cooley (Castle Rock, Colo.).
Taylor Prall, the SAC leader in kills per set, led all player with 17 kills adding nine scoops. Helen Hamilton dished out 27 assists with nine digs and Ashley Hawkins posted 28 digs.
The Eagles close out the regular season next weekend starting with a road trip to Charlotte to take on Queens Friday night at 7 p.m. before finalizing the year at Catawba on Saturday at 6 p.m.