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Middle Tops Golden Panthers 3-0

Kozon records 16 kills as Blue Raiders extend streak to 11

October 13, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MIAMI - The Blue Raiders remained undefeated in Sun Belt conference play on Saturday after trampling the Golden Panthers of Florida International 3-0 (30-16, 30-24, 30-19).

The Blue Raiders are off to their best start in Sun Belt play in school history at 8-0. In 2006, head coach Matt Peck's team was 6-1 in Sun Belt conference play at this same point in the season.

"I think we played a very good match tonight and that caused them to not play very well. It is kind of a surprise. I do not think they brought their 'A' game. Our girls played very well and were very focused," Peck said.

With the win, Middle extended its win streak to 11 and improved to 21-1 on the season.

"We are not really talking about streaks but to be 8-0 in the Sun Belt is a great accomplishment for us," Peck said. "We are getting to the point where we are on the down swing of our schedule and have hit the peak in the number of matches we are playing. We are 21-1 and just seemed to really rise to the occasion. We have always played well in big matches and I don't expect that to change this coming Monday at Western."

As a team Middle recorded 49 kills with a .398 attack percentage. Defensively, the team had 10.5 blocks and 41 digs.

Freshman Izabela Kozon led the Blue Raiders with a career high 16 kills. Kozon posted a hitting percentage of .467 in the match.

Junior Ashley Adams also assisted the Blue Raiders with her 14 kills and three block assists. Adams ended the match with a .500 attack percentage.

Defensively, Middle was led by junior Ashley Asberry who had five block assists. Sophomore Leslie Clark added four block assists of her own. Clark also had 43 assists for the Blue Raiders.

Middle held FIU (11-6, 6-4 SBC) to a .111 hitting percentage with 37 kills. The Golden Panthers' Yarimar Rosa led the team with 15 kills but only hit .171 percent for the match. Anita Szymanska recorded seven kills to add assistance for FIU.

Defensively, FIU only recorded three blocks.

Middle began the match by 2-1 but then hit its stride holding FIU to just one more point while scoring seven to take a very early lead, 9-2.

The Blue Raiders extended its lead to 10 on an ace by Adams, 16-6. After losing the next point, 16-7 Middle maintained a large lead and continued to dominate the Golden Panthers, 26-14.

Middle continued the momentum into game two but FIU battled to stay in the game, 8-5. The Golden Panthers closed the gap to three but Middle held on taking an eight-point lead, 18-10. Late in the game FIU got to within five-points, 28-23 but it was not enough as the Blue Raiders took a 30-24 win and 2-0 lead in the match.

At the intermission, Adams led the team with 10 kills followed by Kozon with eight. On defense, Asberry had four block assists while Clark added three of her own.

Middle took a three-point lead, 7-4 but the Golden Panthers won two-points to close the gap to one, 7-6. The Blue Raiders then won seven of the next eight points to extend its lead to seven, 13-7.

Middle extended its lead to 11, 21-11 late in game three and continued to pull ahead, 25-14.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Monday, Oct. 15 when it travels to Bowling Green, Ky., in a battle of the unbeatens as it faces rival Western Kentucky, who is also undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play.

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