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Volleyball sweeps through Kansas, 3-0

Kozon notches fourth consecutive double-double

September 7, 2010 · Athletic Communications
LAWRENCE, Kan. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team notched their first sweep since the season opener with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-19) victory at previously unbeaten Kansas on Tuesday night.

"It was a good match," said head coach Matt Peck. "I think that when we play within our system we're hard to match up with because we're so athletic. We just had things working. We had good ball control and our block was outstanding. Offensively, we were in system and very hard to defend."

Three Blue Raiders recorded double figure kills, led by reigning Sun Belt Player of the Week Izabela Kozon with 16. The senior also notched her fourth consecutive double-double, chipping in ten digs on the night. Maria Szivos put together her most impressive offensive performance of the season with 13 kills while hitting at an outstanding .684 clip. Alyssa Wistrick recorded 11 kills and hit .350. Morgan Peterson split time with Angela Peyton at setter, combining for 39 assists.

Defensively, Brynne Henderson led the match in digs with 12. Middle Tennessee was a force at the net as well with 13 total team blocks to KU's seven. Stacy Oladinni tallied a season high in block assists with seven, and Lindsay Cheatham was second on the team with six.

Middle Tennessee opened up the match with a 25-19 first set victory. Kozon caught fire midway through the opening stanza, notching eight kills, including a run where she recorded three consecutive kills to give the Blue Raiders a 9-8 edge. Just moments later, MT would stretch that lead further with a five point run, keyed by the serving ability of Szivos. However, the Jayhawks would respond later in the set with a four point run of their own to pull even at 16-16. After inching the lead out to 21-19, Middle Tennessee scored the final four points of the set to take an early 1-0 lead in the match.

The Blue Raiders posted a wire-to-wire second set victory, leading throughout and winning 25-15. Middle Tennessee went up 7-2 on a four point run, and put the game out of reach with another impressive stretch midway through the frame. With Kansas within three points at 13-10, MT scored seven of the next eight to take a commanding 20-11 lead. Cheatham had two kills and five block assists in the set for the Blue Raiders. Kozon and Wistrick each notched five kills.

The third set proved to be the most dramatic of the evening, but a late Middle Tennessee run provided the difference as the Blue Raiders won 25-19. Szivos put together a complete set, tallying seven kills and four digs in the frame. MT took an early lead, but they could never break it open as Kansas kept charging back to tie. However, after the Jayhawks tied things up at 18-18, Szivos and Kozon recorded back-to-back kills, propelling Middle Tennessee to score seven of the match's final eight points to seal the deal.

Middle Tennessee will now head home for their final tournament of the season at the 2010 Middle Tennessee Invitational. The Blue Raiders will open with Arkansas on Friday at 7 PM before playing two matches on Saturday, taking on UAB at 10:30 AM and Albany at 5 PM. All matches will be played at Alumni Memorial Gym.

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