Bulldogs bounce Eagles with comeback win

Box Score (PDF)

WINGATE, N.C. – After leading wire-to-wire in the first set, Carson-Newman could not regain its groove falling in four frames to Wingate Friday night at Cuddy Arena in South Atlantic Conference action 25-20, 18-25,

"It was good to see the energy we came out with in a gym we have struggled in my tenure," Carson-Newman coach Dave Franklin said. "We have a lot to improve upon but I love the commitment of our kids to fight for every point and that will bode well for us down the stretch.

"Wingate is the premiere team in this region and we look forward to chasing them down whether that be this year or in the years to come. Matches with more effect on our season ahead and we'll let this one go and come back tomorrow."

Wingate (21-0, 14-0) remains as the lone undefeated team in the nation running its home winning streak to 31 matches and beating a SAC team for the 20th consecutive try. Carson-Newman (11-9, 7-6) suffers a loss to the Bulldogs for the 34th time in the last 35 meetings.

Eleven attack errors from Wingate in the first frame played a big role in the outcome. C-N won the first six and eight of the first 11 courtesy of five misfires. The Eagles saw their lead cut to one on three occasions including at 20-19 only to see C-N win four straight and seal the deal on a block by Natalie Harris (Monroe, N.C.).

A back-and-forth start to the second stanza turned quickly. With C-N on top 6-5, Wingate sparked an 11-1 spurt to take control at 16-7. The Bulldogs racked up 16 kills and closed out the game with a kill from Phoebe Havenaar.

The roll for the home group continued in the third game as the Bulldogs started the set on a 10-1 run. Franklin's flock never could muster a significant charge as a service error from Elena Vasquez (Riverside, Calif.) put the Eagles on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

It was a similar slow start in the fourth as the Bulldogs won eight of the first 10. The Eagles provided more early resistance keeping the margin around five points before an ace from Molly Lambillotte's service ace capped the night.

Overall, Carson-Newman mustered 33 kills on a .101 hitting clip with 73 digs, seven blocks and four aces while Wingate finished with 56 kills hitting .189 with 91 digs, 10 aces and four blocks.

Madison Rademacher (Broomfield, Colo.) finished with a double-double for the third time in her career with 11 assists and 11 digs. Vasquez added 17 helpers.

Morgan Ballard (Weaverville, N.C.) led all players in the match with 28 digs as Megan Oldenburger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) had seven kills and 13 digs.

Anna Holmquist led a group of three Bulldogs in double figures with 17 kills on a .441 margin. Hannah Givens had 14 kills and Havenaar chipped in 12.

Rachel Alles produced 46 assists and 11 digs while Kori Adams led the back line with 27 digs, one of four players in double digit in that category.

The Eagles wrap up the road trip on Saturday afternoon playing Coker at 2 p.m. from the DeLoach Center. Video will be provided and @CNathletics on Twitter will have the latest details.

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