LAFAYETTE, La. - Maria Szivos tallied 10 kills and seven digs to lead Middle Tennessee to its 11th straight win on Saturday with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-17) victory at Louisiana at Earl K. Long Gym in Lafayette, La.
"We played really well in the first set tonight, and it's nice to get another sweep on the road," head coach Matt Peck said. "Maria played great. We've been trying to get her the ball more, and she really responded, putting up two really good matches this weekend."
"I've been working very hard this week, and I think I've been having better connections with the setters," Szivos said. "Also, I think some teams are focusing on our outside hitters, so it's been opening up for me to get kills."
Aside from Szivos, both Ashley Adams and Alyssa Wistrick also reached double digits in kills, posting 13 and 10, respectively. Brandi Waller was fourth on the team with six, and as a team MT tallied 45 kills to Lousiana's 25 en route to out-hitting the Ragin' Cajuns .429 to .051.
Defensively, Brynne Henderson posted the match-high with 11 digs, andLindsey Purvis added nine.
Lindsay Cheatham recorded a match-high three blocks. Adams, Oladinni and Szivos each picked up two, and Middle Tennessee out-blocked Louisiana 7.0 to 4.0.
Both Wistrick and Adams put up five kills and the Blue and White out-hit UL .524 to .000 to run away with a 25-13 victory in the opening set.
Middle Tennessee held on to a 6-4 lead in the early goings, but put it out of reach with a massive 7-1 run, highlighted by three Wistrick kills and a Purvis service ace. The Ragin' Cajuns would get no closer than eight down the stretch, giving MT the 1-0 match lead.
Adams picked up six kills and Szivos chipped in five more as Middle Tennessee fought off a late rally to pick up a 25-18 second set victory.
Adams posted four kills over the course of a 7-1 start for MT, but UL mounted a big rally pulling within two on several occasions, including at 16-14. Szivos helped key the Blue Raider response, coming up big with two kills over a five-point run to close the door on the Ragin' Cajuns comeback and give the Blue and White the 2-0 lead.
After not playing in the second set, Wistrick came off the bench to notch five kills, helping Middle Tennessee come back from an early deficit to win 25-17.
Louisiana came out of the break strong, running off seven of the set's first eight points for their first lead of the match. MT worked their way back into it, led by three Wistrick kills over a five-point span, pulling the Blue Raiders within three at 10-7.
Purvis helped complete the rally, holding serve for five straight points to give the Blue Raiders the lead for good. Oyinlola Oladinni and Angela Peyton combined for a block and a Purvis ace brought MT within one. Back-to-back kills from Waller put Middle Tennessee on top, and Peyton put the exclamation point on the run with a kill of her own.
Louisiana pulled back within one at 13-12, but Cheatham and Szivos answered with three straight kills, securing a seventh straight sweep for the Blue Raiders.
Middle Tennessee will now look to keep the winning streak going with a non-conference meeting against Georgia Tech at Alumni Memorial Gym on Wednesday. First serve is set for 7 p.m.