Blue Raiders Pick up Two More Victories

Squad comes back to defeat Oregon State, takes care of tournament host Idaho to remain perfect this season

September 1, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee swept a pair of matches Saturday at the Idaho Classic in Moscow, Idaho, defeating the host Vandals, 3-1, before overcoming a two-game deficit and triumphing, 3-2, against Oregon State, as the Blue Raiders stayed perfect in the early going this season and won their second straight tournament.

Middle Tennessee (7-0) moved within one match of tying the best start in school history set in 1995. The Blue Raiders did it the hard way in their final match of the tournament, losing the first two games to the Beavers, 30-21 and 30-19, before regrouping and coming back with victories in the final three games - 30-24, 30-28 and 22-20. The fourth game had 12 ties and three lead changes and the final game had 18 ties and five lead changes.

Junior Ashley Adams led three Middle Tennessee players in double figures with 24 kills and 11 digs, her second double-double of the day and third this season. Adams collected 18 kills and 10 digs in the win over Idaho, as well.

Freshman Izabela Kozon also registered a double-double with 14 kills and 13 digs, while two other Blue Raiders posted double-digit digs - Alicia Lemau'u with 17 and Ashley Waugh with 12.

Quanshell Scott added 10 kills and setter Leslie Clark collected 59 assists in the triumph.

In Saturday's first match, Adams led the way with 18 kills, while Ashley Asberry and Ashley Mead both added 14 and Kozon had 12 in a 3-1 (30-28, 30-28, 21-30, 30-17) victory over Idaho. Adams had just one hitting error in 41 chances during the match. Clark tied her career-high with 62 assists in the match, and Lemau'u registered 20 digs and Adams added 10.

The Vandals played very tough in the first two games, with 23 ties and 10 lead changes combined before the Blue Raiders pulled out both games by identical 30-28 scores.

"It was a long day with a couple of tough matches and our kids really played well when we had to," head coach Matt Peck said. "Idaho played us really tough and then we came back two hours later and didn't have the energy early in the match against Oregon State.

"We got down but kept fighting back. Oregon State had a bunch of match points but we kept fighting back and you just got a feeling that we were going to come all the way back and win."

Oregon State defeated perennial powers Hawaii and Colorado State in a tournament last weekend and battled the Blue Raiders right down to the wire.

"This was a good test for our team and a different test because we've played some tough matches but we've been ahead. In this match we were down the whole match. It's a very, very good win for our program," Peck said.

The coach said his team had really been tested on the road in the first two weeks of the season and was ready to head home.

"We're very excited to have played so well these first two weekends of the season and now we come home to play in our tournament in front of our fans. It should be a fun tournament next weekend."

Middle Tennessee opens the home schedule next weekend, starting Friday with the Blue Raider Bash at Alumni Memorial Gym. The squad hosts Northeastern (1 p.m.) and Georgia State (7:30 p.m.) on Friday and take on UT-Arlington (1 p.m.) on Saturday. The Blue Raiders will also host Missouri State in a single match Sunday at 4 p.m.

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