Nov. 22, 2008

Courtesy of Carson-Newman Athletics

Wingate, N.C. ----The Lincoln Memorial University volleyball team recorded the first upset of the 2008 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional tournament, capturing a 3-1 first round victory over Carson-Newman College in Cuddy Arena. The number seven seed LMU Railsplitters are 22-14 overall, while number two seed Carson-Newman ends its season 24-15 overall.

Lincoln Memorial did not exhibit any first-visit-to-the-NCAA-tournament jitters, as both senior outside hitter Amanda Horenkamp (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and sophomore outside hitter Ashley Knight (Palm Harbor, Fla.) posted double-doubles. Horenkamp had 13 kills and 17 digs, while Knight notched 13 kills and 15 digs.

LMU sophomore setter Lauren Kiwacka (Tipp City, Ohio) was solid, dishing out 45 assists. She filled out her statistics ledger with 13 digs, five kills and three service aces. Railsplitter junior libero Alicia MacIntyre (Muncie, Ind.) collected a match-high 29 digs.

For Carson-Newman, two players had 15 kills each: senior right side hitter Kelsey Fleck (Celina, Ohio) and junior middle hitter Katie Troyer (Plain City, Ohio). Fleck posted the top hitting percentage for either team, as she hit at a .371 clip (15 kills, two errors, 35 total attacks).

Eagle junior setter Stephanie Cutter (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) had a double-double with 29 assists and 18 digs. Carson-Newman senior libero Haley Bush (Spartanburg, S.C.) collected a team-best 24 digs. The Eagles were making their first NCAA appearance since 2002.

"We are a blue collar team...we play point-to-point and play-to-play," Lincoln Memorial head coach Mike Smith says. "We have had our whole team together (for the last) two weeks. I think we are gelling as a team...we've come together at the right time."

 

 

Lincoln Memorial used a 9-2 run to take a 21-16 lead in the deciding fourth set. Horenkamp ended the flurry with a kill. Knight served three crucial points during the momentum swing.

In the tide-turning third set, Lincoln Memorial hit a match-best .353 (15 kills, three errors, 34 total attacks). The Railsplitters and the Eagles shared struggles in the second set, as both teams hit only .089 in the frame.

Carson-Newman won the first set 25-21, as the Eagles hit .208 (16, 6, 48) compared to LMU's .075 (10, 6, 53). Fleck had five kills in the opening frame, while Troyer and junior middle blocker Jessica Brady (Fruitland Park, Fla.) recorded four kills each.

Lincoln Memorial hit .194 for the afternoon, with 55 kills, 24 errors and 194 total attacks. Four players recorded double-digit digs, paced by MacIntyre's 29. The Railsplitters had 16 block assists.

Carson-Newman hit .148 Friday, with 55 kills, 27 errors and 189 total attacks. Eagle junior Jessica Schachleiter (Cincinnati, Ohio) joined Cutter in the double-double club, as she had 10 kills and 16 digs. All total, five C-N student-athletes had 10 or more digs. The Eagles had one solo block and 18 block assists.

Lincoln Memorial will look to play giant-killer again Saturday night, as the Railsplitters will face number three seed Armstrong Atlantic State University at 5 p.m. in Cuddy Arena. AASU rallied for a thrilling 3-2 victory over Lander University earlier Friday.

Smith knows his team faces challenges ahead. "They (AASU) are a big, physical team," Smith acknowledges. "They are very good team. We are going to have to bring it to them to have a chance."