Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raider volleyball team (4-12, 0-2) dropped their second straight conference game to start the C-USA schedule on Sunday afternoon against the Marshall Thundering Herd.
The Blue Raiders kept it close in the first set of the match, losing only by a score of 25-21. The next two sets were controlled by Marshall by scores of 25-16 and 25-19, however, sending Middle Tennessee State University to their fourth straight loss.
The Blue Raiders were led by Dora Peonia with 15 kills, the only Blue Raider to record more than ten kills. On the defensive end, Regan Coughlin posted a team-high seven digs. Taylor Hammill also had a solid game, as she chipped in a team-high 28 assists.
One of the biggest keys of the game was the way Marshall executed and didn’t commit killer mistakes in crucial moments of the match. The Blue Raiders committed more than double the amount of errors the Thundering Herd did (16-7).
The Thundering Herd benefited from a solid defensive showing, as they had double the amount of blocks as the Blue Raiders as well (8-4). With a match that saw a couple of close sets, the defensive execution and lack of errors proved to be the deciding factor.
Marshall was lead by sophomore outside hitter Jac’cara Walker with 16 kills and a pair of aces. Fellow sophomore outside hitter Madison Hill also played well, as she chimed in with 12 kills that included a couple of crucial kills at the end of the first set when MT cut it close to a score of 22-21.
The Blue Raiders are already looking ahead to next week, as they kick off a two-game conference road trip against Rice (11-5) on Friday and conference leader Western Kentucky (15-2) on Sunday.
Assistant coach Jenna Orner sees these first two conference losses as an opportunity to be a learning experience.
“With wins and losses you can find out a lot about yourself mentally and physically, as well as, your team and even more so with losses,” Orner said. “As a team, we need to take a step back and focus on ourselves first before we can progress as a unit.”.
After the two-game road trip, the Blue Raiders will return home on Friday, October 6 for a C-USA showdown against rival Louisiana Tech.
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