Adams posts 24 kills in 3-1 win over Georgia Tech

Blue Raiders tally 12th consecutive victory

October 26, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team didn't get off to the start they would have liked on Wednesday night, but after dropping the opening set, the Blue Raiders rallied for a 3-1 victory over visiting Georgia Tech at Alumni Memorial Gym.

"We had a fairly slow start tonight, but we were a completely different team afterwards," head coach Matt Peck said. "We were tentative and out of system in the first set, and we were outstanding in multiple areas after it. Seeing the team recover from that was a great sign, and it's the type of toughness we need if we're going to play in the postseason again."

Ashley Adams, who started off the match with four kills to five attack errors, caught fire in the second set and kept it going, hitting .472 and tallying 24 kills on the night, one shy of a career high.

"We really didn't need a complicated offense tonight," Peck said. "We just had to get the ball to Ashley in system, and she could do the rest. She hit it over, around and through the block all night, and also helped slow down their best player."

"I didn't start as well as I would have liked," Adams said. "I know that my coaches and teammates count on me to perform. I think we may have let our nerves get the best of us at first, but we made the adjustments we needed and got back into system."

Alyssa Wistrick finished second with nine kills, and Maria Szivos added seven. As a team Middle Tennessee tallied 56 to Georgia Tech's 43, out-hitting the Yellow Jackets .282 to .167.

Morgan Peterson was responsible for directing the offense for much of the match, dishing out 41 assists and putting up five kills.

Defensively, Brynne Henderson recorded a match-high 15 digs, and Halie Vannoy added eight. Peterson and Lindsey Purvis each chipped in seven.

Oyinlola Oladinni and Lindsay Cheatham led the effort at the net with three blocks apiece.

Middle Tennessee entered Wednesday having won 24 consecutive sets, but it didn't matter early on as the Yellow Jackets posted seven blocks en route to a 25-17 victory in the opening stanza.

The joy would be short-lived, however, as Adams posted five kills and MT out-hit GT .269 to .028 for a 25-18 win in the second frame.

After going back-and-forth early, an Adams kill and Peterson service ace started a four-point run to give the Blue and White a 13-10 advantage. Middle Tennessee would not trail again in the frame, but it wasn't without drama. Georgia Tech rolled off four consecutive points of their own a few minutes later to pull within on, but a Cheatham kill and an Oladinni and Wistrick block ended the threat to put the Blue Raiders back in control and even the match at 1-1.

Adams was a perfect eight-for-eight in the third set, helping Middle Tennessee hit .538 en route to a 25-15 statement out of the break.

With Georgia Tech within reaching distance at 11-9, Adams posted four kills over the course of a six-point run to secure the 2-1 match lead.

Adams kept it rolling with seven more kills in the fourth set, and Wistrick added five, as the Blue Raiders would never trail on the way to a 25-22 victory.

Despite the lack of lead changes, the frame was close throughout. Middle Tennessee could never shake off the Yellow Jackets, who pulled within two late at 21-19 on a pair of blocks. An Adams kill and a Georgia Tech error extended MT's lead back to four, and kills from Szivos and Wistrick moments later slammed the door on the comeback attempt.

Middle Tennessee will return to conference play on Friday night against North Texas at Alumni Memorial Gym. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

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