Blue Raiders fall 3-1 to WKU

Will return to AMG next weekend

September 26, 2008 · MT Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee fell 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-21, 25-16) to rival Western Kentucky in its first Sun Belt Conference match of the 2008 season.

The Blue Raiders are now 10-3 on the season while WKU improves to 12-3. Middle Tennessee posted a hitting percentage of .227 in the match with 44 kills which was just three less than the Lady Toppers.

Middle Tennessee and WKU had an even nine blocks in the match with the Blue Raiders notching 31 digs as WKU had 25 digs in the match.

Junior Ashley Mead led the team with 16 kills as she hit .306 for the night. Senior Ashley Asberry added assistance with 14 kills as she hit .778 in the match with three block assists on defense. Sophomore Izabela Kozon added 10 kills of her own.

WKU had just two players with double-digit kills as Megan Argabright and Abbie Siljendahl had 12 and 10 kills respectively.

Junior Ashley Waugh had 11 digs to lead the defense with junior Leslie Clark notching 37 assists.

"In spite of game one which I thought we came very ready to play we fell off a cliff in games two, three and four. I don't think we had upperclassmen stepping up their play, I am just very disappointed. We seem to have taken a wrong turn somewhere after a great start and we are just going to try and turn it back around," head coach Matt Peck said.

Middle Tennessee began the match by taking a five-point lead, 12-7, after two kills by Asberry and Kozon. After a timeout by the Lady Toppers, Middle Tennessee would score five straight points, including a kill by Asberry, an ace by Brush and a kill by Kozon.

The Blue Raiders took the first set 25-16 and ended the set on a 16-9 run over WKU.

Western Kentucky led at the 15-point mark, 15-12 after the two teams had traded a number of points back and forth. The Lady Toppers continued to pull ahead taking an 18-13 lead forcing the Blue Raiders to call their second timeout.

Middle Tennessee battled closing the gap to one but the Lady Toppers pulled ahead 24-21. The Blue Raiders continued to fight and cut the WKU lead to one, 24-23, but after a timeout the Lady Toppers pulled out the 25-23 win to tie the match at one.

After two sets the Blue Raiders were hitting .226 with 23 kills while WKU had one more kill with 24 with a .145 hitting percentage. Defensively, Middle Tennessee led the match with six blocks and 19 digs.

The Blue Raiders began the third set off slowly as WKU took a 3-0 lead. The Lady Toppers continued to build their lead taking a 6-1 lead. Middle Tennessee closed the gap to three but WKU pulled ahead against taking a five-point lead, 15-10.

Middle Tennessee kept fighting and pulled to within three points but it was not enough as WKU took a 2-1 lead in the match taking the set 25-21.

The Lady Toppers began set four right where it left off the third set taking a 14-7 lead over Middle Tennessee. WKU continued to dominate the set going up 21-12 over the Blue Raiders.

Middle Tennessee will have the rest of the weekend off as it prepares to return to Alumni Memorial Gym to play host to Florida International and Florida Atlantic on Friday and Saturday Oct. 3-4.

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