UTM VOLLEYBALL BEGINS 2016 CAMPAIGN THIS WEEKEND AT C OF C INVITATIONAL

August 25, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The second year of the Jaclynn Yocum Era at the University of Tennessee at Martin begins on Friday, Aug. 26 when the Skyhawk volleyball team takes part in the three-match, two-day CofC Invitational in Charleston, SC.

UT Martin will join host College of Charleston, Binghamton and South Carolina in the tournament field. The Skyhawks play both College of Charleston (noon) and Binghamton (3:30 p.m.) on Friday before taking on South Carolina at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27.

This tournament marks the first time that UT Martin has faced both Binghamton and South Carolina on the hardwood. The Skyhawks have previously played College of Charleston twice (1994, 2001) but both matches were played at neutral sites.

UT Martin returns six players and two starters from last year’s squad who went 9-24 overall. The senior trio of Madison Wessling (310 kills, 205 digs), Alisha Erves (202 kills, 57 blocks) and Colleen Larson (290 digs, team-high 25 service aces) will look to guide the Skyhawks back to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament after UT Martin finished just one game out of the tournament field in 2015. Rachel Noffsinger, Jamie Scherb and Sarah Shaw round out the returners for the Skyhawks, as that trio will look to continue their growth in their second year in the program.

Six newcomers also join the fold for UT Martin in 2016. Juniors Jemima Idemudia, Macy Reigelsperger, Kelly Lean and Hayley Gray are expected to contend for starting roles while Macy Catlett and Hannah Phillips will also push for playing time as true freshmen.

College of Charleston is coming off a 20-13 record last season, finishing in fifth place in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Cougars return six players and four starters from 2015, including sophomore middle blocker Kennedy Madison (340 kills), sophomore setter Allison Beckman (1,124 assists) and junior middle blocker Krissy Mummey (101 blocks).

Binghamton posted a 9-19 overall mark but tied for third in the America East Conference in 2015. Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Alicea (team-best 284 kills), junior setter Sarah Ngo (999 assists), senior libero Bailey Walker (355 digs) and junior middle hitter Kristella Morina (102 blocks) pace a Bearcat squad that returns 11 players and six starters from last fall.

South Carolina went 13-18 in 2015, finishing in a tie for 10th place in the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecock arsenal includes 11 returners and five starters from last season, including senior middle blocker Dessaa Legros (349 kills), sophomore setter Aubrey Ezell (1,167 assists) and senior libero Megan Kirkland (328 digs).

Live stats for all matches in the CofC Invitational will be available at the link found at the top of the webpage.



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