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Skyhawks top Morehead 3-0

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Skyhawks top Morehead 3-0

Posted on 11 October 2014 by Allen


The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team began its two-match road swing with an impressive 3-0 victory over Ohio Valley Conference rival Morehead State (25-21, 25-20, 25-23) at Wetherby Gym.

UT Martin (9-10, 2-3 OVC) had its offense clicking on all cylinders this evening, as the offense hit .226 with 42 kills in three sets. Madison Wessling had a team-high 13 kills while Madison Bergren hit .429 with seven kills, 32 assists and six digs. Defensively, the Skyhawks were led by Chelsea Bowles’ match-high 11 digs and Julia Devinney’s match-high six blocks.

The victory tonight snapped a 16-match losing streak to the Eagles, who have won the OVC regular season championship in each of the past four seasons.

“I’m proud of the way we grinded out the match,” UT Martin head coach Darrin McClure said. “We knew Morehead State would come out strong – they always do at their place. Our plan was to limit their runs as much as possible and we did a good job tonight. This wasn’t our cleanest match of the year but we executed when we needed to.”

The Skyhawks found themselves in an early hole in the first set, trailing 5-1 before a brief 3-0 run brought UT Martin back within a single point. Morehead State extended its lead out to 13-9 but the Skyhawks kept battling back, slicing its deficit back to a point (16-15) on an assisted block by Alisha Erves and Mandy Glon. The Eagles proceeded to push their advantage back out to three points before UT Martin went on an extended run – reeling off seven unanswered points to claim a 23-19 edge. Morehead State would close the gap to three points on a pair of occasions before a Devinney kill ended the set and capped off a Skyhawk comeback.

Wessling had five kills in the first set while Bergren (12 assists) and Colleen Larson (five digs) were also instrumental in UT Martin’s come-from-behind win.

Kills by Emily Keaton, Wessling and Devinney provided a 3-1 lead for the Skyhawks to start off the second set. Morehead State battled back to tie the score at 3-all and 9-all but UT Martin accounted for four straight points to make the score 13-9. The Eagles then came back with a 7-2 run to go ahead by a 16-15 margin before five more ties ensued, the latest of which occurred at 20-20. The Skyhawks then ended the set with five points in a row, concluding with back-to-back kills by Wessling to give UT Martin the 25-20 win and a 2-0 advantage in the match.

Wessling once again slammed down five kills while Bergren tallied 10 assists and Bowles scooped up seven digs to lead the Skyhawks in the second set.

A Devinney kill got the third set started off on the right foot for UT Martin but Morehead State quickly came back with four unanswered points. A 3-0 Skyhawk run tilted the score back in UT Martin’s favor at 6-5 but neither team could extend its lead to more than two points until back-to-back kills by Glon and Keaton provided the Skyhawks with a 14-11 advantage. Two kills and a block by Morehead State equaled the tally at 15-all and ignited a spurt where the Eagles held a 23-22 lead. However, UT Martin was able to side out and watched Keaton, Bergren and Erves convert kills on three straight rallies to conclude the sweep.

The Skyhawks return to action tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 11) when they take on Eastern Kentucky. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. CST.

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Skyhawks earn split in Skyhawk Invitationa

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Skyhawks earn split in Skyhawk Invitationa

Posted on 13 September 2014 by Allen


The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team picked up a hard-fought victory over Western Carolina by a 3-1 margin (22-25, 32-30, 25-21, 25-17) before falling to tournament champion Valparaiso, 3-0 (15-25, 20-25, 14-25) in the final day of the 2014 Skyhawk Invitational.

UT Martin (5-5) was led today by Allie Whimpey, who hit .254 with 26 kills (3.71 per set) while compiling 26 digs (3.71 per set) in two matches today. For her efforts, the senior from Cary, Ill. was named to the seven-member all-tournament squad.

Valparaiso was crowned tournament champion after going 3-0 while not dropping a single set in its three matches. Valparaiso’s Emily Campbell was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament while her teammates Taylor Graboski and Morganne Longoria were also honored. Western Carolina’s Caitlin Piechota and Addy George joined Drake’s Capris Quaites and Whimpey on the all-tournament squad.

The Skyhawks close out their four-match homestand this Tuesday, Sept. 16 when they host Southern Illinois. First serve from Skyhawk Fieldhouse is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Match 1
Whimpey (16 kills, career-best 18 digs), Emily Keaton (14 kills, 13 digs) and Madison Wessling (13 kills) helped carry the offense while Madison Bergren (career-high 50 assists) and Chelsea Bowles (30 digs) each had big performances to help UT Martin come from behind to win.

The Catamounts led 6-2 in the first set before two Wessling kills pulled the Skyhawks within three points at 8-5. A kill by Whimpey cut UT Martin’s deficit to 11-9 before Western Carolina pushed its lead back out to five points (19-14). Keaton had three kills in the span of four points to make the score 19-18 but the Skyhawks couldn’t get any closer than one point the rest of the way.

Keaton had five kills against only one error while Bergren’s 11 assists and Whimpey’s seven digs led UT Martin in the first set.

The marathon second set included 15 ties and nine lead changes. Wessling had a pair of kills during an early 5-0 run in the second set but four unanswered points by the Catamounts tilted the score back in the favor of Western Carolina. UT Martin then momentarily broke a tight game loose by reeling off six unanswered points to grab a 16-11 advantage. A kill by Bowles extended the Skyhawks lead to six points at 22-16 but Western Carolina would put forth a comeback, eventually taking a 25-24 lead. The two squads then battled back-and-forth until back-to-back Catamount errors clinched the set for UT Martin.

Wessling tallied six kills, Bergren handed out 20 assists and Bowles had 10 digs in the second set alone as the Skyhawk offense hit .372 with 21 kills.

Western Carolina was responsible for the first four points of the third set but the Skyhawks kept clawing away. A Bowles service ace gave UT Martin its first lead of the set at 15-14 and moments later, three straight kills by Alisha Erves, Whimpey and Wessling provided the Skyhawks with a 19-17 lead. The Catamounts were able to tie the match at 19-all but Whimpey recorded back-to-back kills during a 6-2 UT Martin run to close out the set.

Whimpey (four kills), Bergren (seven assists) and Bowles (five digs) led the Skyhawks in their respective categories in the third set.

UT Martin scored the first three points of the fourth set but Western Carolina came back to tie the score at 4-all. Two more ties would follow before a Keaton kill made the score 8-7 and handed the Skyhawks a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. In fact, UT Martin would use an 11-1 run to turn a 7-5 deficit into a 16-8 advantage as the Catamounts would not get any closer than five points the rest of the way.

Keaton and Bergren led the offense with six kills and 12 assists, respectively, while Bowles scooped up 11 digs to pace the offense in the fourth and final set.

Match 2
Whimpey tied a match-high with 10 kills but Valparaiso improved to 9-1 on the season with the 3-0 win.

Wessling spiked down a couple of early kills to tie the first set at 2-2 before the Crusaders went on a 6-0 run. Back-to-back kills by Keaton and Erves made the score 10-5 but Valparaiso another 9-1 Crusader run made the score 19-6. Whimpey had three late kills to pull the Skyhawks within eight points (23-15) but the rally came too late for UT Martin.

Leading the offense in the first set was Wessling, who had five of the team’s 12 kills. Bergren accounted for 10 of her 22 assists in the opening set.

UT Martin shook off a slow start in the second set and used a 7-1 run to go on top by a 9-5 margin. The Skyhawks held on to that lead until Valparaiso went ahead 12-11 but UT Martin would battle to back to tie the score at 12-all and 13-all. The Crusaders scored four unanswered points but an assisted block by Wessling and Erves sliced the Skyhawk deficit to three (21-18). Two more kills by Whimpey kept the margin at three points but Valparaiso claimed the final two points of the set.

Whimpey tallied six kills for the Skyhawks while Bergren accumulated 10 assists in the second set.

Five ties occurred in the early stages of the third set. After the score was tied at 5-all, the Crusaders accounted for three of the next four points to go ahead 9-6. A Wessling kill and Valparaiso attack error made the score 9-8 but the Crusaders would soon claim a 20-11 lead after an 11-3 run. Bergren and Erves would tally kills after that point but Valparaiso’s lead was too large to overcome for UT Martin.

Bowles had nine of her 14 digs in the match in the fourth set.

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