Volleyball: Blue Raiders lose in straight sets at Rice

Photo by Austin Lewis / Sidelines Archives

Story by David Janes / Sports Reporter

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders took a very tough loss on the road against Rice, losing in straight sets to the Owls in their first conference road game of the year.

In the first set, the Blue Raiders couldn’t get any momentum going, and it resulted in a 25-10 victory for the Owls.

Middle Tennessee got off to a much better start in the second set. However,  they couldn’t get the stops they needed and lost 25-14.

The final set was the closest of the three, but the Blue Raiders still couldn’t find a way to win and were defeated in the final set by a score of 25-20.

Rice’s Grace Morgan had a huge night with 10 kills and seven total blocks. Morgan was a big part of the Owls success against the Blue Raiders.

Even though the Blue Raiders lost, they saw a new player step up when they needed it in redshirt sophomore Alyssa Mathis. Mathis had a stellar night with eight total kills with a .357 percentage.

“This match was extremely exciting for me to be able to start in this match and be on the court with my sisters,” said Mathis. “I was excited to match my career-high in kills during the match, it was definitely a great birthday present.”

The schedule doesn’t soften up for the Blue Raiders any time soon. Mathis knows what has to happen in order to break this drought they’ve been in.

“Moving on to our next game against Western Kentucky, I am going to continue to stay mentally focused and process-oriented no matter the opponent,” Mathis said.

Mathis wasn’t the only Blue Raider with success, as Vonnie Covington had five kills and two blocks. The team had 26 kills as a whole.

The Raiders hope to end their five-game losing streak at Bowling Green, Kentucky, against Western Kentucky on Sunday. Game time is set for 12 p.m.

For more MTSU Volleyball stories, follow David Janes on Twitter at @David_Janes20

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis (@RustyEllis13), email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

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