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Volleyball wins 3-1 at Florida Atlantic

Ross' 18 kills lead Blue Raiders to win over Owls

October 26, 2012 · @MTAthletics

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Led by 18 kills from Chelsea Ross, the Middle Tennessee volleyball team earned a 3-1 (25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 25-18) win over Florida Atlantic Friday night at FAU Arena. Ross also added 11 digs for a double-double.

Brandi Waller added 13 kills for the Blue Raiders. Tyler Richardson, Katie Bange, and Monet Marshall each had four blocks on the night. Shelby Anderton had 32 assists for Middle Tennessee as Bri McCombs led the team with 12 digs.

The first set was a close one, featuring 12 ties and 5 lead changes. Middle Tennessee (8-20, 5-6 Sun Belt) led 5-4 when Florida Atlantic (6-16, 1-10) won five of the next seven points to take a 9-1 lead on a block by Sara Stoll and Alessia Pizzocheri. The Blue Raiders responded as a Ross kill started a 5-2 of their own, putting them in front 11-10. After a Darija Sataric kill evened the set at 11, a Waller kill started a 4-1 run that put MT ahead 15-12. The Blue Raiders led 16-13 when a Jelena Jovanovic kill sparked a 4-0 Owls' run that gave them a 17-16 lead.

MT came back to take a 19-18 lead on two more Ross kills. After a Stoll kill tied the set 19-19, Ross put down a kill and a service ace to give the Blue Raiders a 21-19 lead. Florida Atlantic would get within one, but the Blue Raiders got a Waller kill and an ace by Miri Shade to win the first set 25-22. MT hit .400 in the opening set with 13 kills to only three errors.

The Blue Raiders got out to a 5-3 lead to start the second set, highlighted by a pair of Richardson kills. The Owls used a kill by Jennifer St. Sume to start a 6-1 run that put Florida Atlantic in front 9-6. Bange got MT within two at 9-7 with a kill, but the Owls extended their advantage to four at 11-7 on kills by Sataric and Thacili Pereira. The Blue Raiders got within one at 14-13 on a Ross kill and an ace by Bri McCombs. Florida Atlantic then won six of the next seven points as a Pizzocheri solo block gave the Owls a 20-14 lead. The Owls went on to win the set 25-17, getting two more Pizzocheri kills in the last three points, to level the match at one set apiece.

After trading points to start the set, the Blue Raiders went on a three-point run capped off by a block by Bange and Monet Marshall to take a 6-4 lead. Florida Atlantic came back to tie the set 7-7 on a block by Jovanovic and Stoll.  The Blue Raiders used an Owls service error to start a 5-0 run, as a block by Waller and Richardson made the score 12-7. MT extended the lead to seven at 17-10 after kills by Ross and Bange. The Blue Raiders led 21-16 when a MT miscue and a Pizzocheri ace started a 3-1 run that made the score 22-19. Florida Atlantic closed to within one at 23-22 on kills by Sataric and Jennifer St. Sume. MT put the set away with a Ross kill and a block by Marshall and Bange, winning the third set 25-22 and taking a 2-1 lead in the match.

Florida Atlantic jumped out to a 6-4 lead in the fourth set, getting a block from St. Sume and Thacili Pereira. The Blue Raiders then went on a three-point run to take a 7-6 lead, getting a kill from Richardson as well as a block by Richardson and Shelby Anderton. MT grew the lead to three at 12-9 on kills by Richardson and Marshall. Florida Atlantic then won the next four points, as a Sataric kill gave the Owls a 13-12 advantage. A Florida Atlantic error tied the set at 13-13 with the Blue Raiders winning the next three points to take a 16-13 lead. The Owls closed to within one at 16-15 but two more Waller kills got MT some seperation at 21-17. Pizzocheri put down a kill to get Florida Atlantic within three at 21-18, but that would be the Owls' last point. The Blue Raiders won the next four points as a McCombs ace gave MT the fourth set 25-18 and the match 3-1.

The Blue Raiders hit .234 in the match, holding Florida Atlantic to .194. In the last two sets, MT held the Owls to hitting percentages of .081 and -.032 respectively. The Blue Raiders had a 48-38 advantage in digs with Florida Atlantic holding a slim 9-8 edge in blocks. Sataric led the Owls with 16 kills as Pizzocheri and Stoll each had 10.

MT is back in action Sunday with a 12 p.m. match at FIU. 

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