Volleyball has three-match winning streak snapped at Troy

Blue Raiders go back to .500 in Sun Belt after loss to Trojans

November 3, 2012 · @MTAthletics

TROY, Ala. -  The Middle Tennessee volleyball team saw its three-match winning streak snapped Saturday night, as the Blue Raiders lost 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 21-25, 19-25) to the Troy Trojans at Sartain Hall.

Chelsea Ross led Middle Tennessee with 17 kills, adding 13 digs for a double-double. Shelby Anderton also had a double-double with 42 assists and 13 digs. Brandi Waller had 16 kills and five blocks. Monet Marshall led all players with six blocks as Bri McCombs had a team-high 14 digs.

Middle Tennessee (10-21, 7-7 Sun Belt) got off to a fast start, taking a 6-1 lead on a Ross ace to start the match and a Waller kill. The Blue Raiders grew its lead to seven at 9-2 on two more Waller kills and an ace by Halie Vannoy. Middle Tennessee's defense was on point in the opening set, holding Troy (19-10, 9-4) to only three runs of two points or more in the frame. The Blue Raiders led by as much as 10 points in the first set as Waller's fifth kill of the set made the score 21-11. Troy made a run to get within six, started by two Devin Von Pingel kills, at 21-15. The Trojans closed to the gap to five at 23-18, but kills by Bange and Monet Marshall gave Middle Tennessee a 25-18 win in the first set.

It was Troy who took the upper hand to start the second set. The Trojans took a 7-3 lead on kills by Von Pingel, Breanna Cullity, and Blair Winston. Middle Tennessee then won the next three points as a Ross kill got the Blue Raiders within one at 7-6. Troy led 9-7 when Ross put down three straight kills and was in on a block that gave Middle Tennessee an 11-9 lead.  The Trojans answered with a 5-1 run capped off by a block to take a 14-12 lead. The Blue Raiders took the lead back at 15-14 on a Waller kill. Troy then pulled away with a 7-1 run, capped off by a Kayla Pickart kill, to take a 21-16 lead. The Trojans won the set 25-21 on a Winston kill to even the match at one set apiece.

Troy kept the momentum going into the third set, winning eight straight points to take an 8-1 lead. Cullity had three kills in that run. The Blue Raiders got a pair of kills from Bange in a three-point run that made the score 8-4. Troy then got three kills from Pickart in a 5-2 run, putting the Trojans ahead 13-6. After a Ross kill made the score 13-7, Troy won four points in a row as a Cullity kill put the Trojans up by 10, 17-7. Troy led 20-11 when a Waller kill sparked a four-point run that got Middle Tennessee within five, 20-15. The Trojans had set point at 24-18 when a Ross kill made the score 24-19. Ross and Marshall then got a block to get Middle Tennessee within four at 24-20. The Blue Raiders were able to make the score 24-21 before a Cullity kill gave Troy the third set 25-21 and a 2-1 lead in the match.

Middle Tennessee jumped out to a 5-2 lead to start the fourth set, getting three kills from Waller in the process. Troy got within one at 5-4 on a Winston kill, and the two teams then traded points. The Blue Raiders led 12-10 when Mailande Parker put down a kill and an ace to tie the set at 12-12. Middle Tennessee took back the lead at 14-13 after kills by Ross and Marshall. The Trojans tied the set at 14-14 on a Winston kill, then won the next three points to take a 17-14 lead. Troy extended the lead to five as an Alexandria Alexander ace made the score 20-15. The Blue Raiders got within three at 21-18, but Troy took the next threepoints to earn match point at 24-18. Waller put down a kill to fight off one match point, but Cullity put the match away with a kill to give Troy the fourth set 25-19 and the match 3-1.

The Blue Raiders hit .184 to the match as the Trojans hit just .177. Middle Tennessee also held an 11-7 advantage in blocks with Troy digging 58 balls to the Blue Raiders' 57. Cullity led the Trojans with 13 kills and five blocks. Pickart had 12 kills as Winston added 11. Alexander had a double-double for Troy with 42 assists and a match-high 15 digs.

Middle Tennessee closes out its Sun Belt regular season on Friday, Nov. 9 with a 7 p.m. match at archrival WKU. 

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