Volleyball opens Sun Belt play at home Thursday night

Blue Raiders take on South Alabama and Troy at AMG to start conference slate

September 19, 2012 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team opens Sun Belt Conference play Thursday night at 7 p.m. against South Alabama at Alumni Memorial Gym. The Blue Raiders are 18-0 all-time against the Jaguars, having lost just two sets in their last 13 meetings with South Alabama.

Middle Tennessee enters this week with a 3-12 record, having played four teams that have either been ranked in the AVCA Top-25 poll or received votes. Last season, the Blue Raiders entered conference play with a 2-8 record before winning 16 of their next 18 matches. Middle Tennessee has been dominant against the Sun Belt at Alumni Memorial Gym, going 46-5 at home against conference opponents since 2006. In that same span, the Blue Raiders are 88-12 overall in conference matches.

The Blue Raiders will see a familiar face on the opposing bench Thursday night. Amy Hendrichovsky returns to Murfreesboro as the head coach of South Alabama. She was an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee for six seasons before taking the head coaching position at South Alabama last December. The Jaguars come into Thursday night's match with a 7-7 record. South Alabama was picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt east division in the preseason. Libero Jenna Hassell is fourth in the Sun Belt in digs per set with 4.65.

On Saturday night, Middle Tennessee hosts Troy for a 7 p.m. match at Alumni Memorial Gym. The Blue Raiders are 13-2 all-time against the Trojans, having won the last 13 meetings. Troy was picked to finish fifth in the east in the preseason. The Trojans are 9-6 on the 2012 season after beating Florida A&M Tuesday night. Breanna Cullity leads Troy, and is third in the Sun Belt, in blocks per set with 1.16.

Live video and live stats will be available for both matches this weekend at GoBlueRaiders.com.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.