JEFFERSON CITY, TENN. - It wasn’t easy, but the Newberry Wolves volleyball team fought its way to a 3-2 (26-24, 22-25, 25-19, 18-25, 15-9) victory over the Carson-Newman Eagles on Friday night in Holt Fieldhouse.
The win pushes the Wolves’ record to 13-10 overall and 7-5 in South Atlantic Conference play entering Saturday’s 2 p.m. match at Lincoln Memorial (16-8, 8-2 SAC). The win is Newberry’s fifth straight SAC victory, marking the longest conference winning streak for Newberry since joining the league in 1997. C-N is now 8-11 overall and 2-8 in the league.
Samantha Parrish (Angola, Ind.) led the Wolves with a 23-kill, 20-dig double-double, while Blair Browning (New Lexington, Ohio) passed out 45 assists and had 11 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. Jessica King (Los Angeles, Calif.) had nine kills and Elayni Stokes (Houston, Texas) had a team-high 23 digs.
The first set was tightly contested from start to finish, with neither squad able to get out by more than three points at any time in the set. C-N led 16-13 before the Wolves scored four straight points to take a 17-16 lead. The score was tied at 24-all when a kill from Parrish and an Eagle attack error gave the Wolves a 26-24 set victory. Parrish had seven kills in the set, while Madison Schultz (Decatur, Ind.) had three kills. The Wolves put up four blocks in the set and hit .303 as a team. C-N’s Rachel Harper had nine kills without an error in the set.
The Eagles went on an eight-point run early in the second set to jump out to a 10-3 lead. That seven-point advantage held up to 17-10, but the Wolves clawed back, tying the set at 20-all. Carson-Newman went on another streak though, scoring four straight points. Newberry fought off set point twice, but a Harper kill gave the Eagles a 25-22 set win to tie the match. Parrish had four kills and nine digs in the set and King had three kills, but the Wolves were held to .022 hitting as the Eagles put up four blocks. Harper had another nine kills.
Newberry surges in the third set put the Wolves on top of the match 2-1. From a 15-all tie, Newberry scored four straight points on two occasions to take the 25-19 set win. Parrish had four kills in the set, with Newberry hitting .116 and holding C-N to .073. Harper had only two kills in the set.
The Eagles forced the decisive fifth set with a 25-18 win in the fourth. The set was tied as late as 10-all, but C-N’s Sabina Papala had eight error-free kills to lead C-N to a .368 percentage. King and Parrish each had three kills in the set and Newberry hit .133.
In the fifth set, the Wolves hit .250 as Parrish put away five kills and Newberry held C-N’s Harper without a kill. The Eagles hit .000 in the set as the Wolves jumped out to a five-point lead early and held on for the victory.