The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team competed throughout in today’s match against Arkansas State but ultimately dropped its first decision of the young 2014 season by a 3-0 margin (12-25, 17-25, 25-27) in the first match of a tournament hosted by Memphis.
The Skyhawks (4-1) were led offensively by Madison Wessling’s nine kills while Amanda Crask nearly reached a triple-double with eight kills (.375 hitting percentage), 22 assists and 10 digs. Alisha Erves tallied six kills (with no errors) in 13 attempts while Wessling and Larson each scooped up a team-high 11 digs.
Arkansas State led 5-2 in the first set before back-to-back kills from Wessling and Crask got the Skyhawks within one point. UT Martin trailed 8-6 but the Red Wolves would go on a 10-3 run to go ahead by an 18-9 margin. The Skyhawks would score the next point but Arkansas State ended the set on a 7-2 run.
An Allie Whimpey kill provided the Skyhawks with a 3-2 lead in the second set. After Arkansas State scored five unanswered points, UT Martin sliced its deficit to two points on three different occasions before a 5-1 Red Wolves run made the score 15-9. The Skyhawks unreeled a 4-1 run late to get within six points (23-17) but Arkansas State came away with back-to-back points to claim the set.
The third and final set featured 15 ties and four lead changes. Arkansas State scored five of the first seven points before UT Martin went on a 6-2 run, keyed by back-to-back kills by Crask. The Red Wolves would soon reclaim the lead but the Skyhawks came back with three straight points to go on top 16-14. The set was soon tied at 21-all but kills by Erves and Wessling gave the Skyhawks a late two-point cushion. However, Arkansas State battled back and the two teams once again found themselves tied, this time knotted at 25-25. The Red Wolves then scored two consecutive points to close out the win.
UT Martin returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 6 when it takes on Memphis at noon and Ole Miss at 4 p.m.