MT ends four-game slump in sweep of La. Tech


Pictured: MTSU Blue Raider volleyball team at their Tuesday night game in Alumni Memorial Gym. Photo by Kyle Bates MTSU Sidelines Staff Photographer

RUSTON, La. – The Middle Tennessee volleyball team (8-19, 4-9 C-USA) dominated Louisiana Tech (9-18, 1-12 C-USA), earning a straight-set victory Friday evening at the Thomas Assembly Center.

It was a big night for the Blue Raiders, one that was much needed.

Middle Tennessee ended a four-game losing streak, picking up a win for the first time since a 3-2 victory over FIU on September 17.

It marked only the second three-set sweep for MTSU this season, with the last coming in a 3-0 win over Fordham in the Seton Hall Classic back in August.

MTSU hit a season-high .319 in the win. Junior Chelsea Ross led the way for the Blue Raiders with 11 kills and sophomores Jazmyne Johnson and Miri Shade each had eight kills.

Freshman Haley Morton tallied a team-high 20 assists, and freshman Jacqueline Lux added a team-best 10 digs.

The victory put MTSU head coach Matt Peck one win shy of career win No. 200 at Middle Tennessee.

“Our offense was well distributed, and I was happy with our ball control. I thought Jazmyne (Johnson) and Chelsea (Ross) had a big match for us,” Peck said. “I like how we played in this match, and we were very aggressive from the start.”

The first set went to MTSU 25-22. In the set, the Blue Raiders hit a blistering .441 with the help of Ross and Johnson combining for 10 kills.

The first set started with an 8-8 tie with the Blue Raiders evetually going on a 7-3 run to take a 15-11 lead.

Louisiana Tech closed the gap to two, 24-22, but senior Monet Marshall halted the comeback with a kill to give the Blue Raiders a 1-0 set lead.

MTSU owned the second set, leading from start to finish. They went up 11-4 after a combined block from senior Eseta Maka and freshman LaDaisha Gillard.

The Blue Raiders would go up by as much as seven, 21-14, but Louisiana Tech would make things interesting with a 6-2 run that would cut the deficit to three, 23-20.

MTSU would finish the set off with a Ross kill and block assists from Johnson and Gillard to put the Blue Raiders up 2-0 going into the third set.

It was another fast start in the third set that would lead MTSU to the straight-set victory.

The Blue Raiders started the set with a 5-1 lead off of two blocks from Gillard, kills by Ross and Shade, and an attack error. La. Tech would tie the set at 12, but Middle Tennessee would use a 5-1 run to grab a 17-13 advantage, one that MTSU would hold the rest of the way, completing the sweep, 25-20.

The Blue Raiders will look to end the weekend with another win, taking on UAB at 1 p.m. in a Sunday matchup.

This match will be the last home game of the season and will honor seniors Eseta Maka, Monet Marshall and Ailime de Freitas for senior day.

For more Blue Raider sports, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Sport

To contact sports editor Connor Grott, email sports@mtsusidelines.com

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