MTSU athletics back to full capacity in fall

With the Fourth of July holiday in the books, the MTSU Department wants to remind everyone that the Blue Raiders will be at full capacity at Floyd Stadium for the 2021 football season.

MTSU opens the season Sept. 4 against Monmouth where the program will celebrate Community Day.

The traditional tailgating will return as well as The Family Fun Zone and The Beer Garden, popular fan-friendly amenities inside the 30,788-seat stadium. Masks will not be required for entrance to the stadium.

"We are excited to have our great fans back in Floyd Stadium," Director of Athletics Chris Massaro said. "Fans will be able to enjoy all of the game day traditions that go with football season. I'm looking forward to seeing fans tailgating in Walnut Grove, the Band of Blue, the children enjoying Family Fun Zone, patrons experiencing the Beer Garden once again, and the excitement of FBS/C-USA football right here in Murfreesboro.

"I know our players and coaches will be looking forward to running out to a stadium full of loud, passionate Blue Raider fans," Massaro added.

The school limited attendance to 10 percent – about 7,000 fans per game – during the COVID-19 pandemic last season. Masks and social distancing were required for entrance in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MTSU athletics releases new mobile app

As MTSU Athletics continues to strive for an enhanced fan experience, the department has released a new mobile app that will include an improved design, exclusive information and added perks for Blue Raider fans in attendance at or watching Blue Raider athletic events throughout the year.

Blue Raider Connect will allow fans to purchase their seats for all ticketed Middle Tennessee athletic events (Football, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball and Baseball) while also receiving discounts, coupons and other unique offers from Blue Raider Athletics sponsors.

The new and improved app will also serve as your mobile ticketing hub for all home events as Blue Raider Athletics moves completely to digital ticketing beginning immediately with the 2021-22 season. This includes season, single-game, student and student guest tickets for all ticketed events.

Fans will be able to accumulate points for attending or watching the Blue Raiders that they can then redeem for prizes throughout the year, while a student rewards program will also be housed within Blue Raider Connect.

Four Blue Raiders named WGCA All-American Scholars

For the third consecutive season and fifth time in Middle Tennessee Women's Golf history, a program-record four Blue Raiders have been named All-American Scholars by the Women's Golf Coaches Association.

Senior Sophie Burks, junior Madison Smith and sophomores Molly Bebelaar and Taylor Edlin each earned the prestigious honor, with Burks making the cut for the fourth time and Smith being honored for the second time.

Middle Tennessee also totaled four honorees in 2008, 2009, 2019 and 2020, and has now boasted multiple honorees for eight consecutive years.

To be named an All-American Scholar, student-athletes must maintain a 3.5 or better GPA, have high moral character and participate in at least half of their team's competitions in the current season.

MTSU tennis standout Rocha honored

Middle Tennessee tennis standout Francisco Rocha has been named to the Academic All-District At-Large team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), Thursday afternoon.

Representing District 3, Rocha was chosen as one of the top NCAA Division I players from Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, and was up against student-athletes from sports such as golf, wrestling, lacrosse, fencing, swimming, and gymnastics, in addition to other tennis players.

The junior from Portugal enjoyed a breakout season in 2020-21 as he worked his way up to the No. 1 spot for the Blue Raiders and reached as high as #35 in the nation. In the spring, he went 13-6 for MTSU, helping the Raiders to their second-straight Conference USA Championship, while also clinching a spot in the NCAA Singles Championships.

Off the court, Rocha is just as impressive as he has a 4.0 GPA studying Economics and Business Administration.

MTSU women's soccer schedule announced

The MTSU women's soccer schedule will provide a fan-friendly opportunity for avid Blue Raider fans to see their team with 11 home dates in 2021.

The fall schedule includes 19 total matches, including two exhibition dates, with 11 of those taking place on the home pitch, according to veteran Middle Tennessee head soccer coach Aston Rhoden.

The Blue Raiders will play six of their first seven and seven of their first nine matches at Dean Hayes Stadium.

The Blue Raiders will face Tennessee Tech (Aug. 12) and Austin Peay (Aug. 15) in exhibition contests during the preseason before starting the season in earnest at Dean Hayes Stadium.

MTSU will welcome Belmont (Aug. 19) for the season opener, before hosting Samford (Aug. 22). Following two home dates, MTSU will make its first road trip when it plays at Mississippi (Aug. 26) in the first of two SEC road encounters.

Following the Mississippi match, MTSU returns home for its longest homestand of the season with a four-match stretch against Evansville (Aug. 29), Detroit Mercy (Sept. 2), Houston Baptist (Sept. 5) and ETSU (Sept. 10).

The Lady Raiders' final non-conference match is at Vanderbilt (Sept. 12), before returning to the home pitch to open C-USA play vs. FIU (Sept. 16).