Blue Raiders Take Care of Business

Asberry leads team with 10 kills in 3-0 win over Privateers.

October 22, 2007 · MT Media Relations
NEW ORLEANS, La. - New Orleans challenged Middle Tennessee early on Monday night but the Blue Raiders rose to the occasion defeating the Privateers 3-0 (31-29, 30-15, 30-22).

Junior Ashley Asberry led Middle Tennessee (24-2, 11-1 SBC) with 10 kills and saw assistance from freshman Izabela Kozon who added nine of her own. Asberry posted a hitting percentage of .500 and had four block assists to help guide the defense.

"Ashley had a fantastic match. She had some crucial kills, stuff blocks. She was really unstoppable," head coach Matt Peck said.

To begin the match, the two teams traded points before New Orleans (12-12, 6-5 SBC) took a small lead, 10-7. Middle Tennessee evened the score and the two teams continued to trade points. The Blue Raiders knotted the score at 24 and again at 27.

The score tied again at 29 on a kill by junior Ashley Adams forcing extra points to be played. Middle Tennessee took a one-point lead, 30-29 on a kill by sophomore Leslie Clark and then clinched the game on a block by Asberry and Clark.

"One thing we did really well that doesn't show up in the stats is when we stuffed block balls we got a hand on them, channeled them toward the defense and were able to score points off them. Our transition was very good tonight," Peck said.

As a team, the Blue Raiders knocked down 42 kills for a .198 hitting percentage. Defensively, Middle Tennessee had 10 blocks and 55 digs. The team also had 53 service receptions with just three errors.

Middle Tennessee held New Orleans to just nine kills in its decisive win in game two. Overall the Privateers had 38 kills with a .109 hitting percentage.

Lindsey Boler led New Orleans with 12 kills. Defensively, New Orleans had 42 digs and nine blocks.

Clark notched a team high five block assists. Clark also had 38 assists in the match for a .974 assist percentage.

"Leslie picked up her blocking quite a bit. A lot of teams look at her and say okay that's the setter she is the only smaller blocker. She really isn't a smaller blocker," Peck said. "She made some adjustments to her blocking and helped take out their two best hitters."

Middle Tennessee used the momentum from game one throughout the rest of the match taking a ten-point lead, 19-9 before winning by 15 points. New Orleans jumped out to an 11-3 lead but the Blue Raiders closed the gap taking an 18-16 lead but the Blue Raiders continued to pull ahead taking a late four-point lead, 24-20.

"In the first game we played a very poor game. I think if you look at the second two games we ended up playing a very good match. It is not one of our best hitting percentage matches but if you take out game one it is a pretty good match," Peck said. "We were down in game three and came back and won. We were down and I had used two timeouts when we only had three points. We came back and played a very good game. We are very fortunate to have come out with three 3-0 wins from this weekend."

On defense, sophomore Ashley Waugh led the defense with 19 kills. Kozon and senior Alicia Lemau'u each recorded 10 digs in the match.

The Blue Raiders will return to Alumni Memorial Gym on Friday, Oct. 26 to play host to Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Middle Tennessee will play Florida International at 7 p.m.

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