Blue Raiders drop matches to LSU and North Carolina Saturday

Ashley Adams named to Carolina Classic All-Tournament Team

September 8, 2012 · @MTAthletics

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team dropped a pair of matches Saturday at the Carolina Classic at Carmichael Arena. The Blue Raiders lost 3-0 (21-25, 23-25, 23-25) to LSU Saturday morning and 3-0 (14-25, 22-25, 23-25) to the host North Carolina Tar Heels.

Middle Tennessee (3-8) jumped out to a 5-3 lead early in the first set against LSU (3-5), using a four-point run that included two Ashley Adams kills and a Brandi Waller ace. The Blue Raiders led 16-13 when a Khourtni Fears solo block sparked a 7-1 Tigers run that put LSU up 20-17. Middle Tennessee came back with kills from Adams, Chelsea Ross, and Katie Bange to tie the set 20-20. LSU took back the lead on a service error, then won four of the next five points to win the first set 25-21.

The Blue Raiders battled back from an early five-point deficit in the second set to tie it at 21-21. Middle Tennessee was down 21-14 but took seven straight points on two Ross kills as well as two blocks by Ross and Waller. LSU then got back-to-back kills from Cati Leak to take a 23-21 lead, winning the second set 25-23 on a kill by Helen Boyle.

 Middle Tennessee used a 7-2 run early in the third set to break a 7-7 tie, as back-to-back Ross kills put the Blue Raiders ahead 14-9. LSU came back to tie the set 16-16 on a Desiree Elliott solo block, then took an 18-16 lead on a kill by Elliott. Middle Tennessee then tied the set at 18-18 on a block by Bange and Tyler Richardson. The Blue Raiders took advantage of a pair of Tigers errors to go ahead 20-18, but LSU won five of the next six points to take a 23-21 lead that would not be relinquished. The Tigers took the set 25-23 and the match 3-0.

Adams led all players in the morning match with 16 kills, hitting .314. McCombs added 21 digs. Madie Jones led the Tigers with 12 kills.

The Blue Raiders could not stop a hot-hitting North Carolina squad in the opening set Saturday night. The Tar Heels hit .538 in the first set to cruise to a 25-14 win, winning nine of the last 13 points. Middle Tennessee took an early 9-7 lead in the second set on a Waller kill. North Carolina tied the set at 10-10 then took an 11-10 lead on a Cora Harms kill. With the set tied at 12-12, the Tar Heels went on a 4-0 run to go ahead 16-12. The Blue Raiders battled to within one at 22-21 on a block by Waller and Adams, but North Carolina took three of the next four points to win the second set 25-22.

The Tar Heels broke a 4-4 tie early in the third set with a 3-0 run capped off by a Chaniel Nelson kill. The lead grew to as much as six before a 5-1 Middle Tennessee run cut the North Carolina lead to one at 16-15. The Blue Raiders tied the set 19-19 on a Ross kill and the two teams traded points up to 23-23. Nelson broke that tie with a kill, then combined with Tia Gaffen for the match-winning block that gave the Tar Heels the third set 25-23 and the match 3-0.

Ross led Middle Tennessee with 13 kills against North Carolina as Adams added 11 kills. Adams was named to the Carolina Classic All-Tournament Team following the match. She averaged 3.78 kills per match this weekend. Kayl a Berringer led the Tar Heels with 14 kills.

The Blue Raiders return home Tuesday to take on Austin Peay at Alumni Memorial Gym. First serve is at 7 p.m.

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