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Toppers handle Blue Raiders in straight sets, remain unbeaten

Russell Smythia MTN Sports Reporter March 20, 2021

The Blue Raiders came into the game today full of confidence on a four game win streak.

Their opponents, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, came into the game ranked No. 20 in the country and undefeated.

Western Kentucky remained undefeated after beating Middle Tennessee in straight sets, 25-17, 25-15, 25-22

“We were super pumped to come and play Western.” said Amelia Van Der Werff. “We knew they were in the top 20.”

The Blue Raiders got the first three points of the day. The game was tied at nine before a 3-0 run for the Hilltoppers forced a Blue Raider timeout. The Blue Raiders got the next four points after the timeout, taking a 13-12 lead. Western Kentucky ended the set on a 13-4 run, including seven straight to close it out.

In the second set Middle Tennessee again got off to a solid start taking the first two points. Western Kentucky took the next four points to take the lead, 4-2. The two teams then traded points until the game was tied at 8. The Hilltoppers then scored three straight causing a Blue Raider timeout. After the timeout, WKU had a 3-1 run forcing another MTSU timeout. WKU outscored MTSU 11-6 for the remainder of the set.

The Hilltoppers started the third set by scoring four of the first five points. The Blue Raiders responded with a 4-1 run to tie the game at five. The teams went back and forth for the next four points keeping the game tied at seven. WKU went on a 3-0 run before MTSU called a timeout. MTSU went on a 5-2 run after the timeout, tying the game up at 12. The Hilltoppers answered with their own 5-2 run making it 17-14 and forcing another Raider timeout. Once again, the Blue Raiders came out of the timeout on a 5-2 run. MTSU got the lead down to one, 21-20, but the Hilltoppers wouldn’t let them get it any closer. They ended the set on a 4-2 run.

“We didn’t start off that strong,” said Van Der Werff. “We know what we need to fix for tomorrow and we are ready to come back out.”

These teams will play again tomorrow at 1 p.m.

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