The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team moved to 3-0 on the 2014 season after a 3-0 victory over Southern (25-17, 25-15, 25-15) in the final day of the ISTAP Collegiate Cup hosted by Alabama State.
The Skyhawks, who defeated South Carolina State 3-0 and Alabama State 3-2 yesterday, stayed hot this afternoon, completing the tournament sweep. After the conclusion of the final match, UT Martin freshman setter Madison Bergren was named to the six-person all-tournament team. Bergren tallied 112 assists, 17 kills and a .615 attack percentage in the three Skyhawk victories.
“It was an exciting weekend,” UT Martin head coach Darrin McClure said. “We wanted to come down here and compete and I thought we did that. Our biggest test was yesterday against Alabama State – we showed a lot of heart and resilience.”
The Skyhawks won today’s match with a balanced offense, as 10 UT Martin players had at least one kill but no Skyhawk had more than seven kills. Emily Keaton led the squad with seven kills against only one error in 16 attempts (.375 hitting percentage) while Allie Whimpey added six kills. Bergren handed out 31 assists to guide an offense that hit .301 as a team (38 kills, 13 errors in 83 attempts).
Colleen Larson amassed 11 digs to lead the Skyhawk defense today while Whimpey chipped in with six digs.
UT Martin trailed early in the first set but a 7-0 Skyhawk run – fueled by three aces by Whimpey – tilted the score in the Skyhawks’ favor. Back-to-back kills by Keaton spurred a 5-1 run for UT Martin, who extended their advantage to double-digits at 18-8. The Lady Jaguars would get within five points (22-17) before the Skyhawks tallied three consecutive points to end the set.
Bergren handed out 12 assists in the first set to help the Skyhawks double up Southern on kills (14 to seven).
The second set began with a 6-2 run by UT Martin. After Southern closed the gap to 10-8, the Skyhawks unreeled an 8-2 run, capped off by back-to-back kills from Keaton and Whimpey. The Lady Jaguars would not get any closer than six points for the remainder of the set, as a solo block from Grace Hardin concluded a 5-1 Skyhawk run to close out the set.
Keaton slammed down four kills to pace an offense that hit .423 (13 kills, two errors) in 26 attempts in the second set.
UT Martin once again jumped out to a fast start in the third set, taking an 11-4 lead. Back-to-back attack errors by Southern made the score 15-6 and the Skyhawks pushed their lead out to double-figures for the first time at 18-8. The Lady Jaguars crept back to seven points twice in the latter stages of the set before two straight kills by Lael Ceriani completed the sweep.
UT Martin holds its 2014 home opener this Tuesday, Sept. 2 when it takes on Alabama A&M. First serve from Skyhawk Fieldhouse is set for 7 p.m.