MT hosts FIU and FAU in final home weekend of regular season
Raiders face Panthers Friday and Owls SundayNovember 7, 2013 · @MTAthletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee volleyball team (15-10, 6-4 C-USA) plays its final home weekend of the 2013 regular season with matches against FIU and Florida Atlantic. The Blue Raiders will host the Panthers on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and the Owls on Sunday at noon, with both matches rescheduled from their original times.
Scouting the FIU Panthers
FIU played one match last weekend, falling at home to a resurgent Rice squad in four sets. The highlight of the Panthers' C-USA slate to this point has been a three-set victory over UAB on Oct. 11. FIU enters the weekend in 11th place in the C-USA standings, with matches at Southern Miss (Nov. 10) and vs. North Texas (Nov. 17) remaining on the conference docket.
Florida Atlantic will come to Murfreesboro after a pivotal match at Louisiana Tech on Friday, with massive C-USA Volleyball Championship implications in play. Both the Owls (2-8 C-USA) and Lady Techsters (1-9 C-USA) are on the outside looking in entering the penultimate weekend of C-USA play, but both have a match in hand on 12th-place East Carolina (3-8 C-USA) and 11th-place FIU (4-7 C-USA). The Owls hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the 12th-place Pirates.
The Owls played one match last weekend, falling in four sets to Rice. Overall, Florida Atlantic has dropped eight of its last nine matches to put itself on the outside looking in.
Win and You're In
The scenario this weekend is both simple and complicated for Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders clinch a trip to the Conference USA Volleyball Championship with one win this weekend. However, Middle Tennessee can still finish as high as second and as low as 13th with four matches remaining. All 15 C-USA enter the weekend still mathematically in contention for the tournament to be played Nov. 21-24 at Alumni Memorial Gym.
Owning the OVC
Middle Tennessee was a member of the Ohio Valley Conference through the 1999 season, before joining the Sun Belt for 13 years prior to its move to Conference USA this season. The Blue Raiders have played three matches against OVC teams in 2013, going undefeated in two matches vs. Austin Peay (Sept. 7, Nov. 5) and one against Southeast Missouri (Sept. 20).
All That Jaz
Redshirt-freshman Jazmyne Johnson matched a career-best with eight kills at Austin Peay (Nov. 5), while hitting .429 (8k-2e-14ta).
Next Up: Marshall and Tulane
The Blue Raiders play their final two matches of the regular season when MT travels to Marshall (Nov. 15, 6 p.m.) and Tulane (Nov. 17, 1 p.m.)
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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