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Ashley Adams earns Sun Belt Player of the Week

Blue Raiders to play at Georgia Tech on Tuesday

October 25, 2010 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - After posting 27 kills over two matches this past weekend, Ashley Adams took home her first career Sun Belt Player of the Week award, as announced by the league office on Monday.

The award marks the fifth time that a Blue Raider has earned Player of the Week recognition this season, one short of the school record set in the 2008 campaign. Adams is also the third different player to win it this season for Middle Tennessee.

"Ashley's had a number of outstanding weeks for us so far," head coach Matt Peck said. "On a couple of occasions, she's lost out Player of the Week to a teammate. After Alyssa Wistrick's season-ending injury, we had to turn to her to fill in, and we've lost nothing in the process."

Adams, who also saw her role increase due to the absence of Izabela Kozon in recent weeks, started off with an impressive performance against ULM, posting 16 kills and four blocks in a three-set sweep of the Warhawks. She would follow it up just 24 hours later with 11 kills to propel the MT offense in a sweep of UL-Lafayette. The sophomore was remarkably efficient over the weekend as well, hitting .392.

With a clash at Georgia Tech looming on Tuesday, the Blue Raiders hope that Adams can keep her run of form going.

"We really look forward to Tuesday, and we need matches like this in the middle of the season," Peck said. "Georgia Tech has had a number of good wins this year, and we'll be playing in a hostile environment, which is something our team has responded well to in the past."

Middle Tennessee is entering the match on a three-game winning streak, posting victories in 17 of their last 18 matches. In last season's meeting, MT knocked off the Yellow Jackets, who ultimately earned a place in the NCAA Tournament, in 3-1 fashion.

The Blue Raiders will also hope to have Kozon, one of the most decorated players in school history, back for the match. The senior holds the team lead in kills with 317, averaging 4.12 per set. She's also a factor defensively with 170 digs. Kozon, who earlier this season became just the second player in school history to surpass 1,500 career kills and 1,000 digs, has missed the last three matches due to an ankle injury suffered at FIU on Oct. 15.

Adams is second on the team in kills with 232, and Maria Szivos is third with 198. Stacy Oladinni and Lindsay Cheatham have also reached triple digits in the category with 160 and 148, respectively.

Angela Peyton and Morgan Peterson have split settings duties this season, combining for 1,043 assists. Peyton holds the team-high with 529.

Defensively, the Blue Raiders have impressed at the net, led by Oladinni and Cheatham. The duo is responsible for a combined 186 blocks, led by Oladinni's 96. Cheatham has 90 stoppers on the year, including 13 of the solo variety.

Brynne Henderson owns the team-high in digs with 325, averaging 3.61 per set. Peyton and Kendall Howard have also played a role in the reception game with 120 and 158, respectively.

Middle Tennessee will face Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Tuesday night at O'Keefe Gym. The match is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m.

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