ANDERSON, S.C. – On the heels of a successful four-match homestand, the Anderson University volleyball team will travel to Jefferson City, Tenn., for its second meeting in 17 days with South Atlantic Conference-foe Carson-Newman on Friday. First-serve versus the Lady Eagles is slated for 7 p.m.
Anderson (21-2, 12-1) is embarking on its first road trip since knocking off Coker on Sept. 29 and has notched a 12-2 record in contests away from the friendly confines of the Abney Athletic Center this season.
The Trojans are looking to reach the 22-win plateau for the seventh time in program history and the second straight season after posting a school-record 28 victories a year ago.
AU posted a .239 hitting percentage over its four-match homestand, while holding its opponents to .098 and racked up 28 service aces (2.00/set) during that time frame. Senior Jayln Knight, who leads the Black and Gold with 210 kills on the season and ranks third in the league, knocked down 49 of those kills (3.50/set) on a .371 hitting percentage during the homestand. The Redlands, Calif., native has recorded 10 double-doubles on the season, including two straight.
The Trojans are 12th in the nation in both assists and digs, while standing 13th in the country in kills, 26th in digs per set and 33rd in assists per set. AU also ranks 16th nationally by holding opponents to a .116 hitting percentage.
Junior setter Emily Conlin is third in the country with her 44 service aces on the season and ranks seventh in aces per set (0.59/set). She is 10th nationally with 860 assists on the season and stands 13th by averaging a league-leading 11.47 assists per set.
Sophomore Hailee Wilhelm is second on the team with 172 kills and has knocked down 79 kills over the last seven matches for an 11.3 average. The Columbus, Ohio, native posted 21 kills in the last two outings on a .340 hitting percentage and is second on the squad with 38 blocks. Fellow sophomore Regan Duty is third on the team with 161 kills, including 52 in the last five contests.
Freshman Liliana Kinder is fifth on the team with 102 kills, with teammate Meghan DeVaux leading the squad and ranking seventh in the league with 326 digs. Senior Emily Conard has recorded 179 digs on the season, while classmate Megan Embry has notched 148 on the year. Redshirt freshman Hannah Worsham leads the team with 39 blocks, including 19 over the last five matches.
The Lady Eagles, who posted a 17-15 overall record a season ago, including a 10-10 mark and a fourth-place finish in the conference, were a preseason pick to finish fourth in the 2018 SAC Preseason Coaches' Poll. Carson-Newman earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament last season – its' third appearance in four years – after falling to Queens in the finals of the 2017 SAC Tournament.
Junior libero Morgan Ballard and junior outside hitter Marnie Streeter were named Preseason First-Team All-SAC, while sophomore outside hitter Megan Oldenburger earned Preseason Second-Team All-Conference recognition.
Carson-Newman (9-8, 5-5 SAC) has dropped two straight and is coming off a 3-1 loss at Lincoln Memorial two nights ago.
The Series vs. Carson-Newman
The Trojans and Eagles have met 23 times over the past 13 seasons, with 20 of the matchups occurring since AU joined the league in 2010. The overall series, which began in 2006, sees Carson-Newman holding a narrow, 12-11, edge.
Carson-Newman won the first five meetings in the series and the two teams have evenly split the last 12 matchups, with AU sweeping each of the last two years' regular-season matchups and posting a 3-1 (25-18, 25-9, 28-30, 25-23) win earlier this season at the Abney Athletic Center.
In the earlier matchup, Wilhelm led all players with a career-high 17 kills on the strength of a .385 hitting percentage, while Duty knocked down a career-best 14 kills. Knight notched a second straight double-double with 13 kills and 16 digs, while Kinder posted a dozen kills.
Conlin handed out a season-high 53 assists and notched her seventh double-double of the campaign by coming up with 29 digs. DeVaux recorded 24 digs, with senior Conard adding 19 digs. Senior Embry tallied 11 digs on the night.