Rival Western Kentucky Snaps 11 Match Win Streak
Blue Raiders lose second match of season on Monday after two weekend winsOctober 15, 2007 · MT Media Relations
Western Kentucky held the Blue Raiders to .188 hitting percentage and just 37 kills. It is only the second time this season an opponent has hit higher than .250 this season. The two times that has happened Middle has been on the losing end.
The Blue Raiders are now 21-2 on the season and 8-1 in Sun Belt conference play. Western Kentucky remains undefeated in league play and leads the East Division with a 9-0 record in league play and is 20-4 overall.
"I was very disappointed in our team tonight. I don't think Western is one of the best teams we've played. I think we just didn't show up to play. Western played a great match and had a great game plan. We were outplayed. Western played a great match and they deserve to be in first-place right now," head coach Matt Peck said.
The Lady Toppers notched 55 kills for a .319 hitting percentage. Megan Argabright led Western Kentucky with 19 kills for a .464 hitting percentage. Jenna Gideon and Aquila Orr notched 10 and 11 kills respectively in the match.
Junior Ashley Adams led the Blue Raiders with 10 kills for a .348 hitting percentage. Freshman Izabela Kozon, who was awarded Sun Belt Player of the Week, added assistance with seven kills of her own. Kozon also had two service aces and four digs.
Reception errors hurt Middle who had three in a row to give Western the win in game two. The team had a total of 12 reception errors in the match. Middle also had six service errors in the three games.
"When your team has two or three people who do not show up, are not focused for a big match and not executing our game plan you are not going to win too many matches. I don't know, may be our team will play better now that we have a conference loss," Peck said. "I am very puzzled at this result. We had great matches this past weekend. I felt confident going into this match and I totally over estimated what our team was able to do tonight. We had some pretty poor performances and we have to regroup. We have a big weekend ahead of us and again I am very disappointed in this outcome tonight."
Western gained the momentum early in the match taking a four-point lead, 8-4. The Hilltoppers continued to stump Middle as they pulled ahead by six, 13-7.
The Blue Raiders notched two quick blocks cutting the lead to four, 22-18 but Western held Middle to just one point while taking a seven-point lead, 26-19. Then Middle battled back cutting the lead to three, 29-26 and won three points under the serve of senior Quanshell Scott to knot the score at 29.
The two teams traded points before Western pulled ahead 34-33 and won the next point on a kill by Argabright to clinch the 35-33 win.
Adams led Middle in game one with four kills and Kozon added assistance with three of her own.
The Lady Toppers used the momentum from game one's win to begin game two jumping out to a 4-0 lead. Middle then went on a seven to one run shifting the lead their way by two, 7-5. The Blue Raiders continued to perform well once the momentum shifted their way keeping a four-point lead, 13-9.
Middle continued to play well but the Lady Toppers closed the gap to one, 22-21. Then Middle rallied going on a four to one run to extend its lead to four, 26-22. Western battled back as Hayley Koetter recorded a service ace on a reception error by senior Alicia Lemau'u to knot the score at 28.
Koetter had two more service aces on reception errors by Adams to take a one-point lead and then the game, 30-28. With the three service aces the Lady Toppers took a 2-0 lead in the match.
Through two game, Middle had a hitting percentage of .269 with 29 kills while the Lady Toppers had 36 kills with a .293 hitting percentage.
The Blue Raiders did have six service aces in the match but also had five service errors, three of which were at the end of game two.
Adams and Kozon had eight and seven kills respectively at the end of game two to lead the Blue Raiders.
The two teams traded points to begin game three but the Blue Raiders pulled ahead by three, 8-5. Western rallied going on a seven to two run to take a 12-10 lead. The Lady Toppers maintained a late four-point lead, 21-18. Western continued to perform well going on a seven to two run to pull ahead by eight late in the game, 28-20.
Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Friday Oct. 19 at 5 p.m. when it plays Louisiana-Monroe to begin a three-match swing through the state of Louisiana. On Saturday, Oct. 20 the Blue Raiders will face Louisiana-Lafayette at 7 p.m. Then Middle will have Sunday off before playing New Orleans at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22.
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