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Blue Raiders travel to Southern Illinois for Tuesday tilt

MT takes to the road for first time in 2013

September 2, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team takes to the road for the first time in 2013 when the Blue Raiders travel to Carbondale, Ill. for a Tuesday night non-conference match at Southern Illinois.

MT is back in action after playing three matches in two days over the weekend as part of the Blue Raider Bash at Alumni Memorial Gym. The Raiders defeated San Francisco in five sets Friday afternoon to open the season, before splitting Saturday with a win over Notre Dame in four sets and a loss to North Carolina in three.

Three players posted double-doubles in the victory over San Francisco on Friday, including a career night for redshirt-junior Kendall Howard, who tallied career marks in digs (22) and assists (10) in her first match since Oct. 11, 2011. Sophomores Chelsea Ross (26 kills, 13 digs) and Shelby Anderton (43 assists, 10 digs) also joined Howard with double-doubles.

The San Francisco match was also the Middle Tennessee debut for four new Blue Raiders. Freshman Jale Hervey impressed in her first collegiate match, recording 15 kills and a .414 hitting percentage. Hervey played all five sets along with sophomore transfer Kristina Headrick, who notched 10 digs and three service aces in her MT debut. Junior Ailime de Freitas and freshman Bridget Keller also made their first Blue Raider appearances on Friday.

MT came back from an 0-1 deficit vs. Notre Dame on Saturday morning to win the next three sets and move to 2-0 on the young season. Sophomore Rachel Shaughnessy had one of her best performances as a Blue Raider in the match, recording 11 blocks in the win over the Irish.

The Raiders fell in three sets to North Carolina in the nightcap, despite a solid effort from redshirt-sophomore Tyler Richardson, who had 10 kills and five blocks over three sets. Ross and Howard were named to the Blue Raider Bash all-tournament team for their efforts on Friday and Saturday.

Southern Illinois hosts MT after a 1-2 weekend at the IPFW Invitational in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Salukis took their season-opening match from UConn in five sets on Friday before being swept by the host Mastodons and Duquesne on Saturday. IPFW appeared in the NCAA tournament in 2012. SIU freshman Hannah Kaminsky was named to the all-tournament team at the conclusion of the weekend.

NOTES (For full notes, view PDF):

Playing all the Hits
Redshirt-sophomore Tyler Richardson led all players at the four-team Blue Raider Bash by hitting at a tremendous .435 percentage on 46 attempts.

Shaughnessy Blocks the Irish... Again and Again
Sophomore Rachel Shaughnessy shattered her previous career-best when she recorded 11 blocks in Saturday's win over Notre Dame. Shaughnessy led all players at the Blue Raider Bash with 1.5 blocks per set.

Don't Forget Your Second Wind
MT won each of its first two matches this weekend after dropping the first set. Against both San Francisco (Aug. 30) and Notre Dame (Aug. 31), the Raiders won the second and third set on their way to a victory.

Blue Debuts: Hervey
Freshman Jale Hervey impressed in her first collegiate match, tallying 15 kills and a .414 hitting percentage while playing all five sets against San Francisco on Friday.

Blue Debuts: Headrick
Sophomore transfer Kristina Headrick made an immediate impact in her first match with MT on Friday vs. San Francisco. Headrick started for the Blue Raiders, recording 10 digs and three service aces.

Blue Debuts: de Freitas
Junior transfer Ailime de Freitas appeared in nine of the 12 sets played this weekend, recording 30 assists and 3.89 per set. de Freitas started the match vs. Notre Dame on Saturday morning.

Blue Debuts: Keller
Sophomore transfer Bridget Keller appeared in the matches vs. San Francisco and North Carolina, playing in three sets and tallying three digs.

Raiders Host MT Invitational Friday & Saturday
Middle Tennessee returns to action on Friday, Sept. 6, to open up the Middle Tennessee Invitational at Alumni Memorial Gym. The Raiders will face Virginia Tech - their third ACC opponent of the young season - on Friday before hosting Austin Peay and North Dakota on Saturday. C-USA foe UAB will also be in town for th weekend, but the Blue Raiders and Blazers will not play each other.

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