VOLLEYBALL TEAM POWERS THROUGH FOR 3-2 COMEBACK VICTORY OVER OVC FOE BELMONT
October 13, 2012
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team trailed two sets to none this afternoon against Ohio Valley Conference rival Belmont, but the Skyhawks stormed back to take the next three sets to claim a 3-2 victory (19-25, 22-25, 29-27, 25-19, 16-14) at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.
Emily Keaton hit .320 with a career-best 21 kills this afternoon, while also scooping up 14 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. Shelby Hoskins posted career-high totals in kills (18) and blocks (nine) while hitting .433 today, while Amanda Crask reached career-highs of 51 assists and 14 digs for UT Martin (8-14, 4-4 OVC).
The Skyhawks also received a lift from Allie Whimpey (season-best eight kills and four blocks) and Taylor Simons (career-best 13 digs on her 19th birthday) this afternoon. Kasey Elswick compiled a match-high 31 digs for UT Martin, who limited Belmont to a .102 attack percentage over the final three sets today.
UT Martin battled back from a 4-2 deficit to take a 7-4 advantage in the first set. The Bruins responded with a brief 4-0 run to reclaim the lead, but an assisted block by Whimpey and Hoskins gave the Skyhawks the lead back at 9-8. Soon thereafter, Belmont accounted for 12 of the next 15 points to take a 21-13 lead. UT Martin would get within five points on three more occasions from that point on before the Bruins closed out the set.
Hoskins had four kills on six swings in the first set to lead the Skyhawks.
Keaton helped UT Martin keep a lengthy lead to begin the second set, as her fifth kill of the set gave the Skyhawks a 10-7 advantage. After yet another Keaton kill gave UT Martin an 11-10 lead, Belmont went on a 6-2 run to go ahead by three points. Keaton evened the score at 17-all with another kill, but the Skyhawks could not surge back ahead the rest of the set.
Keaton tallied eight kills in the second set alone, while Crask handed out 11 assists and Elswick registered six digs to pace UT Martin defensively.
A Simons kill and Hoskins service ace put the Skyhawks on top 7-4 in the third set. UT Martin would keep the advantage but Belmont sliced its deficit to 16-15 before a key Simons kill made the score 17-15. After the Bruins tied the score at 19-all, eight more ties followed for the rest of the set. Belmont took its first lead of the set at 26-25 but Keaton immediately followed to extend the match at 26-all. Whimpey then came up with three clutch plays to close out the set. Whimpey and Hoskins teamed up for an assisted block to tilt the score 27-26 in the Skyhawks’ favor, then Whimpey slammed down back-to-back kills to close out the set.
Keaton, Crask and Simons each had four kills in the third set, as the Skyhawks hit .268 with 19 kills.
In the fourth set, Hoskins helped UT Martin erase an early 4-2 deficit – as her third kill of the set gave the Skyhawks a 6-4 lead. UT Martin pushed its lead out to 10-7 but Belmont quickly tied the set at 10-all. A dual block by Hoskins and Whimpey extended the Skyhawk advantage out to 14-11 but the Bruins would soon come back to take a one-point lead (16-15). UT Martin then hit its stride, accounting for five of the next six points to take a 20-17 lead. Belmont pulled within two at 20-18 but the Skyhawks would close out the set with another 5-1 run to force a fifth set.
Hoskins was a perfect 7-for-7 in kills in the fourth set, while Crask totaled 13 assists to lead a UT Martin offense that hit .311. Elswick amassed 11 of the Skyhawks’ 32 digs in the set.
Back-to-back kills by Hoskins gave UT Martin a 4-2 lead in the fifth set but Belmont came back to tie the score at 6-6 and 7-7. However, two straight kills by Harter capped off a 4-0 Skyhawk run (11-7). The Bruins closed in – eventually tying the score at 14-all – before UT Martin completed the comeback with a Belmont service error and solo block by Hoskins.
Keaton had three of UT Martin’s nine kills in the abbreviated fifth set, while Elswick led the way with six digs.
The Skyhawks head back on the road next weekend, traveling to Eastern Kentucky (Friday, Oct. 19) and Morehead State (Saturday, Oct. 20).