Photo by Ambre Rogue / Staff Photographer
Middle Tennessee returned to conference play Friday to take on Southern Mississippi University. The Blue Raiders had never lost to Southern Miss at home coming into this game. That streak, however, came to an end as the Blue Raiders fell to Southern in three sets.
The Blue Raiders (5-18, 2-6 C-USA) came out slow in the first set. Southern Miss (15-6, 4-2 C-USA) jumped out to a small lead, and the Blue Raiders could not recover. Southern Miss would go on to win the first set 25-16. Middle Tennessee had only a .069 hit percentage compared to Southern Miss’ whopping .462 percent.
The second set was much closer as the Blue Raiders capitalized on Southern Miss’ mistakes. Ultimately, it was not enough. The set was close all the way to the end but Southern Miss would take the second straight set 25-22.
Middle Tennessee seemed to turn the tide early in the third set, jumping out to a 7-3 lead. They were playing with a lot of energy and had Southern Miss on their heels. But that wouldn’t be for long as the Golden Eagles fought back and tied the set at 14. The Blue Raiders would eventually lose the third set 25-22.
Although it came in a loss, Junior Jacqueline Lux eclipsed 1,000 career digs in this game. Lux is also 67 assists away from 1,000 career total.
“Being the setter and reaching a thousand digs is really exciting,” Lux said about her milestone. “It’s really rare for a player in college volleyball.”
Middle Tennessee will be at home this Sunday to take on the University Of Alabama at Birmingham. Interim Head Coach Jeff Huebner kept it simple when asked about what his team needs to do to get back on track.
“We have to continue to play point by point,” Huebner said, “We are excited about UAB. This is a good opportunity for us to stay in the top eight and make the conference tournament.”
First serve is scheduled for Oct.23 at 4 p.m.
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