Middle Tennessee provided a strong effort Saturday afternoon, but dropped a three-set match to No. 21 WKU.

Makila York led the Raiders with eight kills and hit at a team-best .211 clip. Dora Peonia, Delaney Gallagher and Vonnie Covington each turned in four kills.

The Hilltoppers used a pair of large runs in the opening set to strike first in the match. WKU fed off a 7-1 run and a 7-2 run to cruise to a 25-10 win in the first set.

The Blue Raiders responded in the second and gained momentum early. Aubrie Huddleston started the set with a kill, and a Gallagher block extended the lead to 3-0. Peonia added a pair of kills to increase the advantage to 5-3 before WKU tied the set at 5-5. Both teams swapped points before MT reclaimed a 13-12 lead behind a pair of WKU errors. WKU responded, as two MT errors and a Hilltopper ace put WKU ahead for good at 16-14. Kills from Huddleston and York shrunk the margin, but WKU closed the set with a 4-2 run to win 25-21.

With a two-point lead in the match, WKU used the momentum to take the final set. The Toppers opened the frame with a 3-1 lead before two kills by York tied the set. Kills by Jacqueline Lux and Regan Coughlin gave MT a 6-4 lead before WKU began its rally. The Toppers regained the lead at 7-6 and didn’t look back as WKU surged to a 25-13 set win to claim the match.

The Toppers were led by Alyssa Cavanaugh with 10 kills, while Jessica Lucas added eight kills and dished out 29 assists.

MT remains on the road with a showdown against FIU Thursday in the final road test of the year.


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