Friday, September 22, 2023

Volleyball: Seniors’ final home weekend spoiled by pair of losses


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Photo by Madison Smith / MTSU Sidelines

Story by Kendrick Williams and Kennedy Powell / Contributing Writers

The Middle Tennessee volleyball team fell short in their weekend contests against North Texas and the University of Texas at San Antonio at the MTSU Alumni Memorial Gym in the team’s final home stand.

Blue Raiders fall to North Texas in straight sets

To start the first frame, the Blue Raiders opened the set on 3-1 run with kills from Regan Coughlin, Vonnie Covington and Emma Grever. However, North Texas battled back to tie the frame. The two teams dueled back and forth, tying the frame another four times before the Mean Green put together a 4-0 over Middle Tennessee to take the lead. The Blue Raiders came within five but couldn’t get any closer as UNT captured the set, 25-18.

The Blue Raiders started off hot again to take a quick lead over North Texas before the Mean Green offense commanded the second set and went on a 15-2 run over Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders dropped the second consecutive set after giving up an early lead.

In the third and final frame, Middle Tennessee went back and forth with North Texas, tying the frame 13 times while grabbing 14 kills in the set. It still wasn’t enough as North Texas secured the third set over the Blue Raiders, 25-22.

UTSA spoils MTSU’s final home stand

The Blue Raiders returned to the Alumni Memorial Gym on Sunday for a contest where they lost in straight sets again to UTSA. The seniors were honored before the game for their final game at home.

Despite the loss, the senior class went out strong with the top three scorers all being final-year students.

The seniors that led the team in scoring were Bailey Mason, inking 12 kills. Red-shirt senior Vonnie Covington had eight kills, while Regan Coughlin had five kills in the set. Other key players who added to the score board were junior Dora Peonia and sophomore Aubrie Huddleston with two kills each.

In the first set, the Roadrunners hit it off, scoring the first two points. Mason then put the Blue Raiders on the board with a kill from the outside. UTSA continued scoring and created momentum throughout the set to stay in the lead. The Blue Raiders defense was unable to stop the Roadrunners as they won the set 25-15.

UTSA then opened the second set creating a 4-0 run over Middle Tennessee. The seniors Covington and Coughlin put up back-to-back kills dropping the lead to one. Even with the scoring from Valdez, Coughlin, Mason and Covington, the Blue Raiders were unable to come back as the Roadrunners claimed the second set 25-14.

In the third and final set, the Blue Raiders came out strong and tied the set 8-8. UTSA created a lead before the Blue Raiders answered back. Middle Tennessee put up a 3-0 run, but it was a little too late as the Roadrunners found their rhythm throughout the set. The Raiders were unable to retake the lead and UTSA won the final set, 25-21.

The Blue Raiders wrap up their conference games with weekend matches in Florida. The Blue Raiders take on FIU Thursday at 6 p.m. and Florida Atlantic on Sunday at 1 p.m.

To contact Sports Editor David Chamberlain, email

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