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Volleyball posts 3-2 comeback victory over North Texas

Kozon posts 17 kills to lead Blue Raiders

October 29, 2010 · Athletic Communications
DENTON, Texas - Facing their first 0-2 deficit of the season, the Middle Tennessee volleyball team won the final three sets to knock off Sun Belt West Division leader North Texas 3-2 (18-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-9) at the Mean Green Volleyball Center in Denton, Texas.

"Coming off a great match against Georgia Tech on Tuesday, North Texas gave us a bit of a scare tonight," head coach Matt Peck said. "They have a new coach and a pretty new roster this season, and they were very well-prepared for us. They were in control of that match at times, but our improvement after the break and their 20 service errors made up the difference."

The Blue Raiders have now won five consecutive matches and 19 of their last 20.

The match was the fourth five-setter of the season for Middle Tennessee, and marked the first time that North Texas had lost a match this season after grabbing a 2-0 lead.

The Blue Raiders were led on the night by Izabela Kozon. The senior, who returned to action earlier this week after missing three straight matches due to injury, tallied a team-high 17 kills at a .429 rate.

Both Ashley Adams and Lindsay Cheatham also reached double figures in kills, recording 13 and 11, respectively. Sasha McGlothin was big down the stretch, recording seven of her eight kills after the break.

Playing in her first match as a Blue Raider in her home state, Angela Peyton, a native of Houston, posted a career-high 48 assists.

McGlothin, also a native Texas, notched a match-high seven block assists, and Stacy Oladinni recorded six total blocks as the Blue Raiders out-blocked the Mean Green 10.0 to 8.0.

Brynne Henderson recorded the team high in digs with 11, and Peyton was second with seven.

Despite six kills from Kozon, North Texas won the first set, 25-18. The Mean Green grabbed an early 9-2 lead, and would never trail. UNT outhit MT in the frame .444 to .152.

The Mean Green took home the second set as well, winning 25-22. After Middle Tennessee took ahold of the lead at 11-9, North Texas would score the next five points to take the lead for good. Once again, MT was outhit .414 to .077.

The Blue Raiders would rebound with a 25-22 third set victory. After finding themselves down two at 14-16, Middle Tennessee would tie on two occasions before taking a temporary lead at 19-18 with an Oladinni block. The two sides would swap points for a few serves, but MT notched five of the final six points to send the match into the fourth set.

Middle Tennessee put together a 25-23 fourth set victory to even things up at 2-2. After 12 ties, the Blue Raiders scored three consecutive points to take the lead for good at 19-16. North Texas cut the deficit to one on three occasions including at 24-23, but a Cheatham kill sent the match to a fifth and deciding set.

The Blue Raiders posted a wire-to-wire 15-9 win in the fifth set. Middle Tennessee ran out to an early 7-4 lead, but the Mean Green would cut the deficit to one at 7-6. However, led by the play McGlothin and Oladinni, MT put together a number of blocks towards the end to seal the deal.

Middle Tennessee (22-5, 12-1 SBC) will now prepare for their final home games of the conference season next weekend. The Blue Raiders will host South Alabama on Friday, and celebrate senior night on Saturday against Troy.

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