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Season Ends in Semifinals

November 18, 2000 · MT Media Relations
New Orleans defeated the Lady Raider volleyball team 3-0 to move on to the finals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The loss ended the Lady Raiders season at 16-18. The Lady Raiders became the first new school since Sun Belt expansion three years ago to advance to the semifinals.

Middle Tennessee moved into the semifinals after a first round win over USA and a victory over the number one seed out of the west, but in the end the loss of Katie Thiesen on the first day of the tournament during warm-ups and a rowdy New Orleans crowd proved to be too much for the gritty Lady Raider squad.

"This was a really strong crowd today," said head coach Lisa Kissee. "They really gave UNO a lift, and having Katie (Thiesen) out hurt us."

In the first game, Middle Tennessee came out flat as UNO jumped out to a 9-1 lead and never looked back taking the first stanza 15-4. The Lady Raiders responded well to falling behing getting out to a quick 7-3 lead in game two. However, the Privateers sparked a 6-1 run to take the lead and went to win the game 15-11 to go up 2-0 in the match.

In the third game, Middle Tennessee led 10-6 midway through the final period, but UNO score 11 of the next 16 points to win the third 17-15 and the match.

After having four different players register a double-double during the quarterfinal win over Denver, only Alicia Scott finished with double-digit kills with 10. Erin Hillstrom recorded 11 digs and added five kills. Goldue Bilyeu finished with a team high 14 assists.

"I'm really proud of the way we played this weekend," said Kissee. "We just ran out of gas."

The loss ended the season for the young Lady Raiders, who had their best season since 1995. The team featured 10 underclassmen, and the trip to the semifinals should give the Lady Raiders high expectations for next season. The loss marked the final match for seniors Lindsay Pritchard and Abby Hartup.

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