MT volleyball struggles to finish against North Texas

Pictured from left: Jazmyne Johnson, sophomore, Jacqueline Lux, freshman, LaDaisha Gillard, freshman, Maya Miller, junior. Photo by Kyle Bates MTSU Sidelines Staff Photographer

The Middle Tennessee volleyball team (7-18, 3-8 C-USA) fell to North Texas (16-9, 7-5 C-USA) in five sets Friday night in Alumni Memorial Gym.

Chelsea Ross led the way for the Blue Raiders, picking up her 12th double-double with 17 kills and a career-high 20 digs.

Senior Monet Marshall tallied 11 kills and a team-high six blocks, while freshman Haley Morton and senior Alime De Freitas finished with 24 and 23 assists, respectively, to lead the way for MT.

In her first game back from injury, sophomore Jazmyne Johnson played well, finishing with 11 kills and five swats.

MT started strong in the first set. They used five blocks during an 8-3 run with the set tied, 7-7, to go up 15-10.

From that point on, the Blue Raiders never trailed as they took the opening frame 25-21, after Morton and freshman LaDaisha Gillard recorded a combined block to end the stanza.

The next two sets went the way of the Mean Green as they used big runs in each of them.

North Texas used a 6-0 run while up 19-14, to take game two 25-14. In the next set, MT took advantage of an attack error to cut the deficit to two with the score at 14-12, before North Texas put together a 7-0 run to go up 21-13, and winning set three, 25-15.

MT responded in the fourth set, jumping out to a 7-3 lead after consecutive kills from Ross and Johnson. The Blue Raiders never looked back the rest of the way, going up by as much as 17-10.

North Texas would score five quick points after trailing 24-17, cutting the lead to 24-22. Ross would end the comeback though on the next set point to help MT force a deciding fifth set.

The fifth set appeared as if it was going to go the way of the Blue Raiders, as they went up 9-7 and had all of the momentum.

However, the Mean Green outscored MT 8-3 the rest of the way to win the set, 15-12, and take the match.

MT will try to finish the weekend at an even 1-1, as Marshall travels to Murfreesboro Sunday at 1 p.m. inside Alumni Memorial Gym.

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