Volleyball Falls Just Short on Upset of SAC Co-Leader


JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. -- Carson-Newman turned back an upset bid by visiting Catawba to claim a five-set win in South Atlantic Conference volleyball action on Friday night at Holt Fieldhouse.  The Lady Eagles stay tied for first in the league with the 24-26, 25-16, 25-16, 18-25, 15-13 victory.  The win ups Carson-Newman's mark to 19-3 overall and 13-1 in the SAC.  The Lady Indians fall to 11-10 and 8-6.

In the deciding set, Carson-Newman jumped out to a 6-2 lead on a pair of kills from Sara Fairley and an ace from Molly Locke.  Catawba came back and led 11-9 after a kill from Alex Hopper (Madison, N.C./McMichael HS).  A kill from Rachel Gallup (Fredericksburg, Va./Courtland HS) had Catawba up 13-11, but C-N won the final four points to win the match.  After an attack error, a Taylor Lowe ace tied it before Maddie Borch killed off the final two points.

McKenzie Garrison (Newton, N.C./Maiden HS) led Catawba with 10 kills and added a pair of blocks and 10 digs.  Hopper and Bri Howard (Graham, N.C./S. Alamance HS) followed with seven kills and three blocks.  Erin Morant (Bealeton, Va./Liberty HS) registered eight blocks, while setter Kaytee Frabotta (Sterling Heights, Mich./Henry Ford II HS) posted six kills, 14 digs, 24 assists, two aces and three blocks.

Fairley recorded a match-high 19 kills for Carson-Newman.  Borch added 16 kills and three blocks, while Locke had a dozen kills, 15 digs three blocks and three aces.  Catawba recorded 11 blocks on the night with Carson-Newman serving 12 aces. 

Catawba rallied from an early 13-8 deficit to win the opening set.  Down 23-22, Garrison had a kill to pull the Lady Indians even.  Carson-Newman fought off a set point with a Fairley kill to make it 24-all.  A service error and an attack error gave Catawba the final points.

The Lady Indians hit at a negative four percent in set two, but were as close as 17-13 late in the set.  Carson-Newman took a 19-13 lead on a kill from Natalie Harris and an ace from Megan Morris then used several Catawba errors to put the set away.

Carson-Newman hit at 43% in winning the third set.  A Harris kill put the Lady Eagles up 13-8.  Four straight Catawba errors upped C-N's lead to 22-13 and Locke's kill ended the set.

Catawba jumped to a quick 8-2 lead in set four.  Morant had a kill and a block late in the early surge.  Another kill from Morant gave the Lady Indians an 18-10 edge.  Catawba kept a solid lead the rest of the set and sent the match to the fifth on a kill from Garrison. 

Catawba will continue its Tennessee swing on Saturday with a 2 pm match at Lincoln Memorial.

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