Four-Set win for Blue Raiders over Towson Saturday morning

Second straight win for Middle Tennessee

September 1, 2012 · @MTAthletics

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team won its second consecutive match Saturday morning, defeating the Towson Tigers 3-1 (25-20, 26-24, 20-25, 25-16) at the Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va.

Freshman outside hitter Chelsea Ross had a career-high 23 kills in the Blue Raiders' victory. She hit .439 for the match and was a perfect 8-for-8 in the deciding fourth set. Ashley Adams added 13 kills. Shelby Anderton dished out a career-high 29 assists.

Towson (5-2) and Middle Tennessee (3-3) traded points to open the first set, playing to a 5-5 tie. The Tigers took the next two points, but the Blue Raiders got two kills from Adams in a three-point run to go ahead 8-7. With the set tied 9-9, Middle Tennessee went on a 7-1 run highlighted by three Katie Bange kills to take a 16-10 lead. The Blue Raiders also had two blocks in that spurt as well. Towson responded with a four-point run on kills by Katy Buck and Marta Machos to make the score 16-14. Middle Tennessee grew the lead back up to five on a pair of Ross kills to give it a 19-14 lead. The Blue Raiders took the first set 25-20 on kills by Adams and Tyler Richardson.

Middle Tennessee battled from an early 8-5 deficit in the second set to tie it 9-9 on kills by Adams and Ross. The Blue Raiders took the lead at 11-10 on a Monet Marshall solo block as a pair of Towson errors made the score 13-10. Miri Shade grew Middle Tennessee's lead to four at 19-15 with a service ace. The Blue Raiders led 23-20 when Towson used a Middle Tennessee service error and an ace by Paige Sekarak to get within one, 23-22. Middle Tennessee earned a set point when Shade put down a kill to make the score 24-22 but Towson tied the set 24-24 on a Blue Raiders error and a Buck kill. The Blue Raiders rebounded with back-to-back Adams kills to take the set 26-24 and a 2-0 lead in the match.

Middle Tennessee led early in the third set 4-3, but the Tigers went on a 4-0 run capped off by a block by Buck and Alysha McCreary to take a 7-4 lead. Towson would not relinquish the lead the rest of the set, increasing its lead to seven at 15-8. The Tigers took a 20-12 lead on a Buck service ace, but the Blue Raiders came back with three straight points to get within five, 20-15. Towson hit .346 in the third set, holding Middle Tennessee to a .160 mark. The Blue Raiders fought off two set points but Towson won the set 25-20 on a Karolina Sawaniewicz kill.

The fourth set started with the two teams trading points, playing to a 6-6 tie. A block by Richardson and Adams broke the tie and led to a 3-0 Middle Tennessee run, putting the Blue Raiders ahead 9-6. Towson got within one at 10-9 on a kill by I'ishah Kiliikoa but a Bange kill got Middle Tennessee back ahead by three, 12-9. The Blue Raiders got some breathing room late in the set when Marshall put down a kill and three consecutive aces to make the score 19-12. Towson would only get as close as four the rest of the set. An ace by Halie Vannoy and two more Ross kills highlighted a 5-0 Blue Raiders run that put away the fourth set 25-16 and the match 3-1.

Middle Tennessee hit a season-high .314 in the win Saturday morning as Towson hit .226. The Blue Raiders hit .421 in the fourth set, holding the Tigers to .160. Middle Tennessee had a 35-32 advantage in digs and an 8-6.5 edge in blocks. McCreary led Towson with 17 kills as Aubrey Kirven led all players with 46 assists.

The Blue Raiders wrap up play in the Hokie Invitational tonight at 6 p.m. against the host Virginia Tech. 

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