The Middle Tennessee (8-22, 6-10) volleyball team finished regular season play at home against rival Marshall (16-13, 7-9), as the Blue Raiders were looking to finish their season on a high note on Senior Day.
The Blue Raiders were down early in the first set until senior Chelsea Ross got a kill that swung the momentum Middle’s way. Middle Tennessee took an 8-5 lead, and never looked back, as they took the first set easily 25-18.
The second set was much of the same in that Marshall took an early lead, but Middle Tennessee came storming back in large part to Ross. The Blue Raiders were able to hang on down the stretch to take the second set 25-19.
The Blue Raiders needed just one more set to extend their season into the conference tournament on the highly emotional Senior Day; however, Marshall wasn’t going away anytime soon.
The third set began with Marshall taking a 3-1 lead, and it was a back and forth game thereafter. MTSU held a 20-17 lead late in the third set, but Marshall dominated the Blue Raiders late and took the third set 25-22.
The Blue Raiders still had two more chances to secure the victory, but Marshall made that a difficult task. Marshall began the fourth set on a 13-0 run, which seemed to have stripped all the life from the Blue Raiders. The Thundering Herd took the fourth set 25-12, which forced a fifth set.
Middle Tennessee had one final chance to get a win, but Marshall seemed to have a little more in the tank. It was a hard fought final set, but Marshall was able to outlast Middle Tennessee to spoil the Blue Raiders’ Senior Day.
Ross ended the game with 21 kills, and fellow senior Rachel Shaughnessy ended the game with four blocks and two aces.
The Blue Raiders finished just shy of receiving a Conference USA berth, and the Blue Raiders will miss the postseason tournament for two consecutive years for the first time since 1998-99.
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