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Raiders down Louisiana Tech in straight sets

MT improves to 4-2 in C-USA play

October 18, 2013 · @MTAthletics

RUSTON, La. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team defeated Conference USA foe Louisiana Tech in straight sets on Friday night at Memorial Gym. With the win, the Blue Raiders improve to 12-7 and 4-2 in C-USA play, while the Lady Techsters and 7-14 and 1-5 in conference.

Sophomore Chelsea Ross led the Blue Raiders with 19 kills, while hitting .484 in the match. Redshirt-sophomore Tyler Richardson had eight kills on nine attacks, with no errors (.889). Sophomore Shelby Anderton notched a team-high 20 assists, while redshirt-junior Kendall Howard tallied 10 digs.

MT started slow in the first set, but was able to rebound. Neither team led by more than three in the opening frame, with Louisiana Tech taking a three-point lead on five occasions. The Lady Techsters led, 22-20, before the Raiders answered emphatically. Ross and redshirt-junior Monet Marshall came up with kills around a Louisiana Tech attack error to take a 23-22 advantage, and kills from Richardson and Marshall closed it out for a 25-23 victory.

Middle Tennessee took the second set more decisively, hitting .444 in the stanza. Ross and Richardson combined for nine kills in the set, as the Raiders turned a 9-9 deadlock into a 25-18 victory. MT closed out the frame on an 8-3 run, taking a stronghold on the match and a 2-0 lead into the locker room.

Ross was even better in the third set, recording nine kills and a .667 hitting percentage (9k-1e-12ta). MT took a 15-9 lead, with Richardson in on four blocks - one each with Anderton, Marshall, Ross and redshirt-freshman Jazmyne Johnson. The Lady Techsters hung around, closing to within 19-18, but were unable to complete the comeback. MT scored the next five points to push Louisiana Tech to match point at 24-18, and after the Lady Techsters fought back for three points, Johnson's third block of the set closed out the three-set victory at 25-21.

Friday's match was the first Division I athletic event held in Memorial Gym since the 1982 NCAA women's basketball tournament, and the first volleyball match held at the venue.

The Blue Raiders return to action on Sunday when MT travels to Charlotte, N.C., for a noon CT match at Charlotte.

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