HARROGATE, Tenn. – Erin Edwards made one miscue while racking up eight kills Friday at Mary Mars Gym in a four-set loss to USC Aiken. Carson-Newman fell 22-25, 25-21, 11-25 and 15-25 to the reigning region runners-up.
Edwards posted a .389 hitting percentage to pace the Carson-Newman (1-1) offense but the rest of the roster contributed 25 kills while making 26 attack errors. Each side racked up miscues with USC Aiken (2-0) committing 10 service errors and 23 hitting mistakes.
As a team, the Eagles posted a .044 hitting percentage on 33 kills with eight blocks, 65 digs and four aces versus the .171 mark, 47 kills, three block, 72 digs and 10 aces from the Pacers.
The win for Aiken marks the first five-match winning streak in the 13-match history of the series. The Pacers won the first four before C-N won four in-a-row leading up to this current stretch.
Franklin's crew won seven of the first nine points of the match only to see the Pacers storm back to pull even at 11. Despite the tight tussle, Aiken did not take its first lead until a C-N attack error put the friendly squad in a 21-20 hole. The Pacers scored six of the final eight in the set winning the first frame on an ace by Christine Carroll.
It was a second stanza fueled by spurts as the Pacers won each of the first seven before the Eagles took five in-a-row. C-N chiseled into the deficit before winning six straight to take a 15-13 lead. Aiken bounced back to take an 18-17 edge. The Eagles had the answer winning six in-a-row before taking the set on an ace by Emily Harnischfeger (Macedon, N.Y.).
Carson-Newman took an early 4-2 lead in the third before Aiken blitzed the Eagles winning 23 of the final 30 points to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
What proved to be the final set of the day, the fourth frame, was another error-filled segment with C-N hitting .000. At 8-6 in the game, the Pacers finished the day winning 17 of the final 26 to close out the match.
All-American middle Christine Carroll proved to be the best player on the court with 16 kills making one error on 32 swings with a .469 hitting percentage. Take her out of the equation and the Pacers had 31 kills and 22 attack errors. Alli Bell dished out 38 assists and All-American libero Rebecca Martinez finished with 20 scoops.
The Eagles turn their sights to their final non-conference tuneup slated for Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against the reigning Conference Carolinas champions Emamanuel inside of Mary Mars Gym.
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