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Efficient Blue Raiders sweep Alabama A&M

MT commits just three attack errors, hits .425 in match

September 14, 2013 · @MTAthletics

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team notched its best hitting percentage since 2011 while committing just three attack errors in an efficient three-set win over Alabama A&M Saturday at the Hammons Student Center on the campus of Missouri State University. With the win, the Blue Raiders improve to 6-4, while the Bulldogs fall to 0-10.

Chelsea Ross was named to the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn/University Plaza Invitational All-Tournament Team for her efforts. Tyler Richardson had a stellar match, tallying eight kills and 10 blocks for the Blue Raiders. Jale Hervey had 11 kills in the match, recording 3.89 kills per set on the weekend. The team's .425 hitting percentage was the best since Nov. 18, 2011 against North Texas. The three attack errors are just two more than the program record of one, set vs. Tennessee State on Sept. 2, 1995.

The first set began fairly evenly, with the Blue Raiders holding just a 12-9 lead. MT would then blow it open, running off 13 of the next 14 points to win the set, 25-10. Richardson tallied four kills and five blocks in the opening stanza, with Hervey adding five kills. As a team, the Blue Raiders hit .458 (12-1-24) in the set.

Alabama A&M hung with Middle Tennessee in the early stages of the second set, tied 8-8. After the Blue Raiders went on an 8-1 run to pull ahead 16-9, the Bulldogs battled back with three straight points to cut the deficit to four. A 6-0 run put MT ahead 22-12, with the Blue Raiders shortly thereafter bringing the Bulldogs to set point at 24-14. Alabama A&M was able to tally the next three points to stay alive, but a block by Richardson and Hervey won the set for the Blue Raiders, who took a 2-0 lead with a 25-17 second set victory.

Middle Tennessee jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the third set and never looked back. The Blue Raiders hit .435 (11-1-23) with five blocks in the final frame. Five Raiders (Ross, Hervey, Richardson, Maya Miller and Jazmyne Johnson) each recorded two kills, with Miller also tallying a career-best three blocks.

Shelby Anderton led the Blue Raiders with 18 assists. Kristina Headrick tallied a team-high nine digs, while she and Ross each recorded two aces.

The match took just 56 minutes. The win was the first of the three-set variety for MT in 2013, moving to 1-4 in those matches. Conversely, the Blue Raiders are 5-0 in matches that go more than the minimum, including a 4-0 mark in five-set matches.

The Blue Raiders return to action next weekend at the Mizzou Classic in Columbia, Mo. Middle Tennessee will face Southeast Missouri on Friday before playing Towson and Missouri on Saturday.

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