MARS HILL, N.C. - The Mars Hill Lions fell behind early to the visiting Carson-Newman Eagles, losing 3-1 (23-25, 14-25, 25-15, 20-25) Saturday afternoon in Stanford Arena. Sally Anne Johnson led the Lions offense with 11 kills. She also added four blocks (1 BS, 3 BA).
In a tightly contested first set, the Lions pushed the Eagles to the very end, but could not sway the momentum in their favor. Paced by Marnie Streeter's eight first set kills, the Eagles came away with a 1-0 lead by a score of 25-23.
A dominant Carson-Newman squad ran away with the second set, 25-14, after hitting a team and match high .400 from the floor. Once again, Streeter dictated play by adding an additional five kills. She finished the contest with a game-high 22 kills.
The Lions clawed their way back into the contest taking the third set 25-15 led by Maddie Spurgeon's four kills and Johnson's three. A solid defensive effort by Elizabeth Kaeser allowed the Lions to fight off the Eagles to force a fourth set.
In the deciding set, it was too little, too late for Mars Hill despite Johnson's five kills. The teams traded points in the latter stages, but ultimately, the Eagles soared away with their second consecutive four set conference victory.
The Lions now sit at 1-4 and are winless in their first two conference matches.
Carson-Newman (4-1, 2-0 SAC) downed Tusculum on Friday night and followed up their performance with an impressive showing in Mars Hill. Morgan Ballard had a game-high 58 digs while Anna Patton led the Eagles with 16 assists.
Kaeser had 32 digs to go along with four kills. Sarah Pasour led Mars Hill with 17 assists.
Mars Hill returns to action Friday, September 15 against Catawba College. The match will be held at Stanford Arena and is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start time.