Lady Raiders Come Up Just Short to Marshall

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In the final match of the weekend, Middle Tennessee flashed sparks of offense, but it was not enough as Marshall took the contest 3-0 Sunday afternoon.

Makila York led the way on both sides of the net with six kills and a pair of blocks.

Aubrie Huddleston added five kills, while Dora Peonia collected four kills and a block. Meg Irvin pitched in a match-high 14 digs.

“Marshall is a great team and a great program. They have had an unbelievable start to the season. We knew it was going to be a tall order,” assistant coach Jeff Huebner said. “In a lot of ways, we need to learn a little from how they played. They are a little undersized and have great tempo. We can use this as a good learning opportunity moving forward.”

The Herd (13-4, 2-0) opened the match with a 25-11 win in set one. Marshall hit .387 in the frame and didn’t commit a single attack error. Tied 3-3, the Herd claimed the lead and didn’t look back. Marshall’s offensive surge opened up a 17-6 advantage. The Raiders attempted a comeback with a pair of brief runs, but Marshall closed the set with a pair of kills and an ace to lead the match 1-0.

The Blue Raiders (4-11, 1-1) quickly responded in the second set. Tied 2-2, a block by York sparked a 5-0 run, which included a kill from York and an ace by Delaney Gallagher, to put MT out in front 7-2. Marshall attempted a rally, but kills from Huddleston and Regan Coughlin extended the MT lead to 11-5. MT forced the only six errors the Herd would commit throughout the match during the second set to keep the home team out of rhythm. The Herd then began their comeback by chipping away at the deficit. Kills from Jac’cara Walker and Madison Hill coupled with a pair of errors tied the match 13-13. The Raiders and Herd forced six more ties for the remainder of the set before Marshall broke a 21-21 tie. A kill by Hill followed by a trio of kills by Cassie Weaver gave the Herd the second-set win 25-21.

Weaver finished the day with a match-high 12 kills, while Walker and Hill each added nine.

In the final set of the match, the Blue Raiders tried to turn the momentum with an early 3-1 lead, but Marshall’s offense hushed any MT rally. The Herd surged to a 20-10 lead before MT offered one last push. Kills by York and Peonia along with an error trimmed the deficit to 20-13, but Marshall used a pair of kills and an ace down the stretch to close the set 25-14 and claim the match.

Middle Tennessee returns to action next weekend as it hosts conference home-openers against Rice Friday at 7 p.m. and WKU Sunday at 1 p.m.