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MT falls to East Carolina in five sets

Raiders drop to 6-4 in C-USA, return to action Tuesday at Austin Peay

November 3, 2013 · @MTAthletics

GREENVILLE, N.C. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team fell to Conference USA foe East Carolina in five sets on Sunday afternoon at Minges Coliseum. In the defeat, the Blue Raiders fall to 14-10 and 6-4 in Conference USA, while the Pirates improve to 12-16 and 3-8 in C-USA.

Freshman Jale Hervey led the Blue Raiders with 14 kills, while redshirt-sophomore Tyler Richardson had 10. Richardson added seven blocks in the match, while redshirt-junior Kendall Howard had 21 digs. Sophomore Shelby Anderton had a team-high 26 assists in the match.

The Blue Raiders overcame early struggles in each of the first two sets to grab a 2-0 lead in the match. MT was limited to a .167 hitting percentage over the first two frames, but benefited from ECU hitting at a .133 clip. The Blue Raiders tallied five blocks over the first two sets, with Richardson - who began the day as the C-USA leader in blocks at 1.24 per set - in on three of them. MT won the first set, 25-19, before taking the second set by a score of 25-21.

The Pirates put a quality set together in the third set, hitting .333 while holding the Blue Raiders to just nine kills and 28 total attacks in a 25-18 victory, bringing the match to 2-1.

Middle Tennessee opened up a 6-1 advantage in the fourth set before ECU knotted the set at 9-9. The two teams stayed within two points of each other until the Pirates took an 18-15 lead, forcing a Blue Raider timeout. ECU would bring Middle Tennessee to set point at 24-17, and close out the fourth set with a 25-19 victory to force a fifth and final set.

ECU took a 6-2 lead in the fifth set and led 8-4 when the teams switched sides for the conclusion of the match. The Pirates would hold a lead of between three and four points until a Blue Raider rally brought MT to within 13-12. The Blue Raiders could not complete the comeback, though, falling 15-13 in the final set.

The Blue Raiders return to action on Tuesday when MT travels up Interstate 24 for an in-state, non-conference match at Austin Peay, slated for 7:00 p.m.

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