Volleyball preparing for Senior Weekend

Blue Raiders will honor Kozon and McGlothin on Saturday

November 4, 2010 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - This weekend will mark the final conference home matches for one of the most successful senior classes in school history, as the Middle Tennessee volleyball team will host South Alabama and Troy at Alumni Memorial Gym.

"Sasha and Izabela have both contributed so much to our program, and I don't want to think about them not on our team next year," head coach Matt Peck said. "They have been great leaders, great teammates and very coachable over their time here. Hopefully we will be able to reward them with a great run in the Sun Belt Tournament, and possibly the NCAA Tournament."

Reigning Sun Belt Player of the Week Izabela Kozon has been one of the best players in program history. The native of Warsaw, Poland, is one of just two Blue Raiders to record at least 1,500 career kills and 1,000 career digs. A recipient of a school-record seven Sun Belt Player of the Week awards, Kozon is second all-time in the MT record books with 1,575 kills and has earned All-Sun Belt honors in each of the past two seasons.

While Kozon may grab the headlines, Sasha McGlothin is aiming to become the first player in school history to go to five NCAA Tournaments. The native of Abilene, Texas, has battled injury throughout her career, but has etched a place in the school history books as well, averaging 1.04 blocks per set to rank sixth all-time.

Middle Tennessee (22-5, 12-1 Sun Belt) will be entering the weekend having won their last five matches and 19 of their last 20.

"We are in a pretty good position right now, and we hope to keep moving up with the tournament coming up," Peck said. "We are not looking past anybody, and we know that both South Alabama and Troy are trying to get into the Sun Belt Tournament."

Last week, the Blue Raiders posted an impressive four-set win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta, becoming the first Sun Belt team to knock off an Atlantic Coast team on the road since 2007. Middle Tennessee would follow it up on Friday with a dramatic come-from-behind victory over West Division-leading North Texas.

As has been the case for much of her career, Kozon will look to lead the high-octane Blue Raider offense this weekend, boasting of a team-best 352 kills and averaging 4.09 per set. Kozon has also been a stalwart defensive force with 182 digs and 42 total blocks.

Also playing a vital role in the offense will be Ashley Adams and Maria Szivos. Adams is second on the team in kills with 245, averaging 3.36. Szivos, a transfer from former Sun Belt school New Orleans, is third on the team in kills with 211.

Lindsay Cheatham and Stacy Oladinni lead a stout Blue Raider defense that ranks second in the Sun Belt in opponent attack percentage. The duo have been dynamic at the net, combining for 200 total blocks.

Brynne Henderson anchors the reception game with a team-best 349 digs. Kendall Howard has also been a key cog in the defense with 169.

Middle Tennessee will open the weekend with South Alabama on Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday's senior night festivities are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. prior to taking on Troy. Both matches will be played at Alumni Memorial Gym.

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