Photo by Andrew Brown / MTSU Sidelines
Story by David Janes / Sports Reporter
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raider volleyball team (5-14, 1-4) achieved their first conference win of the season against the Louisiana Tech Techsters by a score of three sets to two.
It didn’t look good for Middle Tennessee in the first set as the Blue Raiders found themselves down 14-6. MT called a timeout and seemingly figured something out, closing the deficit to 21-18. They couldn’t finish the job however, and lost the final set by a score of 27-25.
MT took over the lead early in the second set, grabbing a 12-9 lead before LA Tech’s first timeout. The Techsters wouldn’t lose without a fight and tied the set at 20-20. Led by Dora Peonia’s seven kills in the set, the Blue Raiders took it by a score of 25-23.
The third set was one to remember for MTSU as they started the set by scoring the first 11 points. Middle Tennessee continued their dominance and didn’t even allow the Techsters to break 10 points as the Blue Raiders won by a score of 25-6.
In a turning point in the match, the Blue Raiders found themselves tied at 11 with a chance to win the game. They couldn’t put LA Tech away though, as the Techsters took the fourth set by a score of 25-17.
In the fifth and final set, Middle Tennessee got off to a great start and never looked backed. When all was said and done, the Blue Raiders took home a victory by a final score of three sets to two.
Peonia stacked the stat sheet with a career-high 19 kills, nine aces and nine digs.
“I had so much confidence in me and my teammates that it made me feel like I can do anything,” Peonia said.
Her head coach saw her performance as a result of her hard work during the week.
“This week of practice, she executed everything we needed her to do,” Crawford said. “That preparation at practice carried over to the match tonight.”
Reagan Coughlin was another major contributor, recording 13 kills, 11 digs and one ace.
“It felt great … Hitting has been a little off for me these past couple of games,” Coughlin said. “It feels good to be back in the (swing) of things.”
Middle Tennessee will face off against another conference rival in Florida Atlantic University on Sunday at noon.
For more MTSU Volleyball stories, follow David Janes on Twitter at @David_Janes20