Blue Raiders Bounce Back

Sweep FIU 3-0

October 29, 2006 · MT Media Relations

MIAMI, Fla. - Middle Tennessee volleyball bounced back from a disappointing loss to Florida Atlantic on Friday by sweeping Sun Belt East leader Florida International 3-0 (30-21, 30-25, 31-29) Sunday in Pharmed Arena.

"We played well against a very good team," said Head Coach Matt Peck. "I told the players we needed this win and they went out and got it."

It was the second time this season the Blue Raiders have blanked the high-powered Panthers and are now in second place just a game behind Western Kentucky. The sweep over FIU was also just the second time the Panthers have been blanked at home this season with the other team being the University of California.

The victory pushed Middle Tennessee's record to 11-3 in the Sun Belt and 20-7 overall. It is the first time in school history a Blue Raider volleyball squad has registered back-to-back 20 win seasons as the club had 28 victories in 2005.

"Getting to 20 wins for a second straight season is a great accomplishment for this team," Peck said. "I am very proud of their efforts."

The shutout is the ninth time the Blue Raiders have swept a Sun Belt team and 17th overall in 27 total matches.

The Blue Raiders took out their tough loss to FAU on FIU on Sunday and they did waste in time doing so. In game one, the Blue Raiders exploded to an early 20-13 lead and never looked back. The club looked to the Ashley's (Adams and Asberry) to help dispense with the Panthers as the duo accounted for five of the 10 finals points to win game one.

Game two saw the Panthers come back and make things a bit difficult for the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee was hanging on to a slim 23-20 lead and held off FIU by going on a 7-3 run to take game two and a crucial 2-0 lead into the locker room.

The true test of a solid team is closing a match on the road and the Blue Raiders didn't disappoint in game three. After being down 26-20, Middle Tennessee fought to stay in the game. An 8-2 run by the Blue Raiders was assisted by four FIU critical errors to tie the game at 28. Middle Tennessee took a 29-28 lead thanks to a kill by Quanshell Scott but FIU tied it up with a kill by Yarimar Rosa. Scott turned around and gave the lead back to Middle Tennessee with her seventh kill of the game and FIU's 25th error in the match assured the win for the Blue Raiders.

Middle Tennessee was stifling in its attack percentage at .388 with 50 kills and just 12 errors. Florida International was held to .165.

Junior Victoria Monasterolo led both clubs with 23 kills on 31 attacks and just two errors for a .355 attack percentage. She also had nine digs and three block assists.

Adams had 11 kills in the match and also recorded three block assists. Jessica Robinson had 10 kills and Asberry paired her eight kills with six block assists.

Also of note is a record-breaking moment for junior Alicia Lemau'u who now has 1,448 digs in her career breaking the previous mark of 1,424 set by Lisa White.

Middle Tennessee is back in action on Friday when the Blue Raiders travel to Mobile, Ala. to face South Alabama. Match time is set for 7 p.m.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.