HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Lady Railsplitters used a balanced offensive attack with seven different players tallying multiple kills in the match to earn a 3-0 victory (25-21, 25-23, 25-18) over the Carson-Newman College Eagles on Tuesday evening in Mary E. Mars Gymnasium.
With the win, Lincoln Memorial University retains the top spot in the South Atlantic Conference, moving to 6-1 in league play and 14-7 overall. The loss drops the Eagles to 8-8 on the season and 2-5 in the SAC.
The Lady ‘Splitters capped the match with a .283 attack percentage highlighted by the team extending that average to .349 in the third and final set. Blaire Fowler led LMU with a gritty performance, ending the night with a game-high 11 kills and nine digs. Jennifer Drumm compiled nine kills in the win, while Kaitlin Walton and Casey Mense added six and seven kills respectively. Allison Beavers and Brittany Pugh combined for a pair of double-doubles in the effort. Pugh notched 17 assists and ten digs to go along with four kills, while Beavers tallied 20 assists, 11 digs and four kills.
Sabina Papala led the offensive unit for the Eagles with ten kills on the night. She was the lone player for Carson-Newman with double-digit kills as the Lady Railsplitters recorded 46 kills while limiting the Eagles to only 35. Kristen Pickett added a game-high 26 assists and Angelle Hayes paired that with a game-high 15 digs.
In the back-and-forth opening set, the Lady Railsplitters and Eagles met at the midway point at a 17-17 stalemate. A kill from Sabina Papala gave Carson-Newman the lead briefly, but LMU responded with a 4-0 rally capped by a kill from Jazzy Oates to take command at 21-18. The Eagles took three of the next four points to press within one, however, three-consecutive kills by the Lady ‘Splitters sealed a 25-21 victory in the first frame.
The second set saw the Eagles shrug off the loss in the opener en route to establishing a 7-2 lead. The Lady Railsplitters worked slowly back into the frame cutting the deficit to 16-13 with a blunder from the Eagles’ side. The Eagles got a kill from Rachel Bowlin in the next point but LMU took the next six to take their first lead of the set at 19-17. Jennifer Drumm capped that run with a kill. The teams traded points in two point increments down the stretch with the Lady Railsplitters getting the final two with a pair of miscues from Carson-Newman to take a 25-23 set victory and a 2-0 advantage at the break.
The Lady Railsplitters continued to hold sway in the third set, building an 11-7 lead by the midway point. The Eagles cut the margin to two points at 12-10 but LMU answered with a 6-1 run to establish an 18-11 lead. LMU limited Carson-Newman to only seven more points down the stretch, capping a 25-18 win with a kill from Kaitlin Walton.
LMU provided a stellar defensive showing in the victory, compiling 52 digs and 4.5 blocks in the match. Eight different players for the Lady Railsplitters tallied multiple digs in the winning effort.
Lincoln Memorial University looks to extend their six-game winning streak in South Atlantic Conference play, as they head to Wingate University on October 12th and end the weekend set at Catawba College on October 13th.