MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill volleyball team (3-3, 2-1 SAC) defeated Carson-Newman (4-2, 2-1 SAC) by a score of 3-1 Tuesday evening inside Chambers Gymnasium in South Atlantic Conference play.
The Lions dropped the first set, but rallied to take the next three, including a thrilling 29-27 second set that saw six different lead changes and 12 ties. Leading the first set 20-18, the Lions were unable to close out Carson-Newman as the Eagles scored seven straight points off the serve of Megan Oldenburger.
Late in the second set, Mars Hill trailed 22-20, but reeled off three points in a row to go up by one. The teams continued to trade points until the Lions were able to record the final two including Sally Anne Johnson's set-closing kill. Johnson would later end the contest with her game-high 14th kill.
The Lions led early in the third set 12-5 before a Carson-Newman timeout was called. The Eagles, following the timeout, went on a 9-5 run to pull within four points and continued to put on the pressure late in the set, pulling within one point at 24-23. Mars Hill burned their second timeout of the stanza and returned to the court looking for the 2-1 lead heading into the fourth set. An Eagle attack error allowed Mars Hill to take that advantage.
Trailing 6-5 in the fourth, Mars Hill went on an 8-2 run to hold a seven point lead midway through the frame. With a 10-point lead, the Lions once again found themselves defending a Carson-Newman attack that saw the Eagles score five straight points to pull the contest to 21-16. The Eagles, led by Oldenburger's three kills in the following run, pulled within three points, however, two kills by Johnson sandwiched an Eagles' error, allowing the Lions to emerge with the 3-1 win.
Oldenburger led the Eagles with 13 kills and collected 26 digs for the double-double. Morgan Ballard led the team with 28 digs while Katie Parnell recorded five blocks on the night.
Johnson added two blocks to her 14 kills and picked up five digs. Grace Lilly had 12 kills while the duo of Sarah Goddard and Lauren Phillips each had 11 kills. Ully Martins led all players with 33 digs on the night.
Mars Hill takes to the road on Friday, September 20th as the square off against Tusculum at 7 p.m.