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Kozon guides Blue Raiders in win over UALR

MT hands UALR its first SBC loss

October 12, 2008 · MT Athletic Communications
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Middle Tennessee handed Arkansas-Little Rock is first conference loss of the season on Sunday as it took a 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 25-14) win.

The Blue Raiders (14-3, 4-1 SBC) won the first two sets to take a 2-0 lead at the break and started the third set with a 7-0 lead before UALR (17-3, 6-1 SBC) rallied to win the set. Middle Tennessee dominated the fourth set to take the match and hand the Trojans, the only undefeated team in league play their first loss.

Sophomore Izabela Kozon led the Blue Raiders throughout the match notching 21 kills, just one shy of her career high. Junior Ashley Mead added assistance to the offense with her 17 kills while senior Ashley Asberry had nine.

Defensively, Middle Tennessee had 64 digs guided by junior Ashley Waugh with 17. Juniors Katie Brush and Leslie Clark added 12 of their own and Clark had 57 assists.

The Blue Raiders had 61 kills while holding UALR to 37 with each team notching 12 blocks. UALR's Amila Barakovic led the Trojans with 11 kills as the team hit .059 for the match.

Middle Tennessee started the match slow as UALR took a 3-1 lead but then got it together taking a four-point lead, 8-4. The two teams began to trade points back and forth with the Blue Raiders maintaining a small lead at the halfway point, 15-13.

The Blue Raiders continued to play well and while UALR fought it could not pull ahead as Middle Tennessee took the set 25-21.

To begin the second set the two teams traded points back and forth with Middle Tennessee taking a three-point lead at the halfway mark, 15-12. Then with two kills by Kozon and one by Oladinni the Blue Raiders extended their lead to four, 19-15.

UALR began to rally and tied the set at 20 after outscoring the Blue Raiders 5-1. Middle Tennessee rebounded winning five of the next six points to take the set 25-21 and a 2-0 lead in the match.

After two sets, Asberry and Kozon each led the Blue Raiders offensively with nine kills. As a team, Middle Tennessee had 34 kills and six team blocks as the Trojans had just 18 kills with five blocks.

The Blue Raiders came out strong after the break jumping out to a 7-0 lead behind the serve of Henderson. UALR battled and after a 5-1 run closed the gap to two, 12-10.

The two teams continued to trade points but the Blue Raiders stayed on top with a 15-12 lead at the midway point. UALR tied the match at 18 and then took its first lead of the set, 19-18, after an attack error by Asberry.

Middle Tennessee regrouped and won its next three points to take a 21-19. UALR kept battling and it paid off as it outscored the Blue Raiders 6-2 to take the 25-23 win and force a fourth set.

The Blue Raiders began the fourth set off strong taking an early 11-3 lead. Middle Tennessee continued to control the set allowing the Trojans to score just three more points as it took a 14-point lead, 20-6.

UALR attempted to make a run but it was too little too late as the Blue Raiders took the match 25-14 on a block by Mead.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. when it faces North Texas in Denton, Texas.

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