Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines
Story by David Janes / Sports Reporter
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (4-11, 0-1) played in their first conference match of the season on Friday, falling in four sets to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers (7-9, 1-0).
Middle Tennessee got off to a good start, as they won the first set by a score of 25-17. The Blue Raiders were led by sophomore middle blocker Dora Peonia, who had six kills and two digs with a .500 percent on attacks. Junior Makila York added five kills of her own with 1.000 percent on attacks in the first set.
The Blazers took control of the game right after that, winning three straight sets by scores of 25-22, 25-16 and 26-24. Petra Silic lead the Blazers with 13 kills, one dig and three blocks with a .579 percentage on attacks.
In the fourth set, though, MT made a comeback after being down 13-5 early. Junior outside hitter Reagan Coughlin had a stellar fourth set, scoring nine of her 12 kills.
The Blue Raiders came all the way back and tied the fourth set up at 24-24, but couldn’t get any further and lost the game three sets to one.
Although the Blue Raiders did lose the game, Peonia and York both had standout performances. Peonia ended her night with 17 kills and six digs with a .167 percentage on attacks, while York had 12 kills, one dig, four blocks and a .450 percentage on attacks.
As a team, Middle Tennessee had 51 total kills with 111 total attacks with a .261 percentage, but also accrued 22 errors as a team. On the other side, the Blazers had 48 total kills with 112 total attacks with a .241 percentage, but they did have 21 errors of their own.
Sidelines reached out to the team after the match, but they were unavailable for comment.
The Blue Raiders will play their next match on Sunday, September 24 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. at 1 p.m. against Marshall. With both teams losing their conference openers, this will be a match-up of two teams looking to get on a roll during conference play.
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