Middle Tennessee set for rematch against Marquette

Adams named SBC Player of the Week on Monday

October 10, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - After reeling off six consecutive wins, reigning Sun Belt Player of the Week Ashley Adams and the Middle Tennessee volleyball team will look to make it seven on Tuesday night against Marquette at Alumni Memorial Gym.

"Ashley had a few very nice matches for us last week," head coach Matt Peck said. "She just went after it hard, and that's what we need her to do. She is one of the big reasons that we've now won six in a row. She's stepping up when it counts and making the plays down the stretch, which is great to see."

Adams, who has now garnered the honors twice this season, is coming off a week where she posted 42 kills at .329 rate to go along with 11 blocks. The junior was especially strong against Troy, eclipsing the 20-kill plateau in just three sets to secure Middle Tennessee's fifth 3-0 victory in six matches.

Adams is just the second Blue Raider in history to record at least 20 kills in a three-set match since the NCAA switched to the current 25-point rally scoring format. Previously, Izabela Kozon accomplished the feat in a 3-0 victory against Florida Atlantic last season.

Tuesday's match will offer the Blue Raiders the rare opportunity to avenge an early season loss as Marquette came from behind to take home a 3-1 victory in Milwaukee last month.

"We have some significant wins this season, and getting a win tomorrow could really help us down the line since they are a pretty good RPI team," Peck said. "We played a pretty good match up there earlier this season and lost. In addition to trying to make up for that, the team knows this is pretty important for us."

This marks just the second-ever meeting between the Golden Eagles and the Blue Raiders, and the eighth meeting between MT and a Big East opponent under the direction of head coach Matt Peck. Middle Tennessee holds a 5-2 record over those previous seven contests, but have lost the last two, falling at Marquette and against Louisville in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

In last month's meeting, the trio of Adams, Alyssa Wistrick and Maria Szivos combined for 39 kills, but after falling in the opening set 25-16, Marquette rallied to win 25-23 in the each of the ensuing three.

"It was an odd match up there," Peck said. "We had a very good first game, and we had a big lead in the second. However, they had a 9-1 run on us, which isn't indicative of the kind of team we have this year. We're pretty evenly matched, but I think we'll play them better this time around. We're a better team now, and I'm sure Marquette is too, but they have to come here this time, which isn't an easy place to play."

First serve for Tuesday's match against Marquette is set for 7 p.m. at Alumni Memorial Gym, and the first 100 fans in attendance will receive a free Middle Tennessee rally towel.

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