Record crowd not enough to pull Pioneers through in home opener

Record crowd not enough to pull Pioneers through in home opener

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Carson-Newman's Marnie Streeter recorded 20 kills while the Eagles posted 11 total team blocks as C-N came away with a 3-1 win over host Tusculum Friday night at Pioneer Arena in the South Atlantic Conference volleyball opener for both teams. 

A school-record crowd of 887 fans attended the Friday night match-up between the two arch-rivals.

Carson-Newman (3-1, 1-0 SAC) won the match by scores of 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20 as the Pioneers fall to 2-3 overall (0-1 SAC) on the season.

C-N's Megan Oldenburger accounted for a double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs, while the setter duo of Madison Rademacher and Anna Patton dished out 22 and 18 assists, respectively in the victory.

Tusculum's Cassie Born led the Pioneers with her 14 kills and eight digs, while Mariah Lewis finished with 10 kills for the home team.  Setter Shannon Murphy added 40 assists and 10 digs for her fourth consecutive double-double.  Sabrina Schleuger added nine kills and 10 digs, while Melissa Mazur led all players with 27 digs to go along with her three service aces.

The Eagles finished the match hitting .227 with 50 kills, 16 errors in 150 total attacks.  The Pioneers hit .130 in their home opener as TC tallied 49 kills, 29 errors and 154 total attempts.

Tusculum finished with nine service aces while Carson-Newman tallied five, including four alone in the third set.

In the opening set, the Eagles utilized an 8-1 run to overcome a 10-6 deficit to take a 14-11 advantage, a lead they would not relinquish in winning 25-21 in the first frame.  C-N posted a .235 hitting percentage while limiting TC to a minus-.032 as TC had eight hitting errors to seven kills in 31 attempts.

Carson-Newman vaulted out to a 7-2 start in the second set, but the Pioneers rallied with 10-5 spark to tie the score at 12-12 following a Lewis kill.  The lead would be tied five more times down the stretch including 21-21 after a Born kill.  But the Eagles closed out the frame with a 4-1 run including back-to-back kills from Streeter and Oldenburger to give C-N a 25-22 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.

The Pioneers claimed the third set 25-22, hitting .238 in the frame getting four kills each from Born and Schleuger.  Mazur finished the set with 10 digs as the Eagles posted a .075 hitting percentage.

In the fourth set, the Pioneers looked to have the momentum as TC went on a 6-1 spurt to take an 18-14 lead following another Born kill.  But the Eagles responded with nine unanswered points which included three blocks and two kills each from Alex Biro and Streeter as Carson-Newman led 23-18.  The Pioneers trimmed the deficit tow 23-20 thanks to a Born kill and a Murphy service ace.  But the Eagles put the match away with a Streeter kill and block assists from Kendall Cooley and Natalie Harris on match point to win 25-20 to seal the road victory.

The Pioneers return to action on Tuesday when they host Lincoln Memorial for a 7 p.m. contest at Pioneer Arena.