MTSU senior Ashley Adams (3) goes for the kill Aug. 25, 2012, against University of Texas-Antonio in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo courtesy of MTSU/B. Lambert)
The MTSU volleyball team finished off Saturday with a 1-3 record following its first four matches of the season.
The volleyball team hosted a four-team Blue Raider Bash against Furman University, University of California-Davis, University of Alabama-Birmingham and University of Texas at San Antonio.
The enjoyed mixed success during the Blue Raider Bash, as it opened with a three games to none (20-25, 14-25, 23-25) loss to Furman. Furman’s Chandler Ambrester led all scores with 15 kills, while MTSU was led by Bri McCombs with 11 kills.
MTSU volleyball bounced back in its second match Friday with a three games to none (25-18, 25-21, 25-18) win over UAB. McCombs led the way again for the Blue Raiders with 16 digs, while Shelby Anderson added 14 assists and Alyssa Ivey had 13 assists in the team’s first victory of the season.
The Blue Raiders returned with one of the top players in the Sun Belt Conference, Ashley Adams, looking for their seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
Adams is only one of three seniors on this year’s squad. The seniors are surrounded by nine freshman including former Riverdale High School star Chelsea Ross and last year’s Georgia High School player of the year, Katie Bange, along with fellow Tennessee natives, Shelby Anderton, McCombs, and Ivey.
“I got the impression at the beginning of the Furman match that our kids were kind of nervous, and we were never really able to settle them down,” MTSU head coach Matt Peck said Friday after the second match. “The UAB match was different. I think the girls were able to settle down after getting the first match under their belt. I just noticed they were more relaxed.”
The following day, the Blue Raiders opened up with the Texas Roadrunners.
Once again, the Blue Raiders fell in their first match of the day with a three sets to one loss (25-23, 20-25, 20-25, and 22-25) to the Western Athletic Conference school.
Texas was led by Dempsey Thornton with 19 kills, and Preseason All-WAC star McKenzie Adams added 14. The Blue Raiders were led by Ross with 15 kills and Adams chipped in with 13 in the loss.
MTSU finished up the bash with a trilling five-set match against UC Davis, but fell three sets to two (22-25,25-18,22-25,25-19,12-15). Ross was the leading scorer for the Blue Raiders with 20 kills, while Adams added 17.
Peck had no comment after the UC Davis match.
Next weekend, the volleyball team heads to Blacksburg, Va., for the Hokie Invitational, in which the Blue Raiders will face Harvard University, Towson University and the host school, Virginia Tech, as it prepares for the upcoming conference portion of the schedule.
The next home match is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 11, against Austin Peay State University at 7 p.m. inside the Alumni Memorial Gym.