SKYHAWKS BATTLE BUT FALL TO SOUTH CAROLINA TO CLOSE OUT C OF C INVITATIONAL; WESSLING NAMED TO ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
August 27, 2016
CHARLESTON, SC – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team pushed South Carolina to the limit this morning but the Skyhawks dropped a three-set decision (24-26, 13-25, 19-25) to round out the CofC Invitational.
Following the final match of the event, Madison Wessling was named to the seven-member CofC Invitational all-tournament team. The senior outside hitter of Louisville, Ky. led the team with 33 kills while also ranking third on the squad with 27 digs.
UT Martin (1-2) was in position to claim the early match lead before the Gamecocks concluded the first set with three unanswered points. The Skyhawks were then hampered by 17 attack errors over the final two sets.
Macy Reigelsperger flirted with a double-double today, as she was responsible for team-highs of nine kills and 14 digs. She also doled out six service aces, just one shy of the program record for a three-set match. Wessling also had nine kills this morning while Kelly Lean accumulated a match-high 29 assists for UT Martin.
The first set featured 12 ties and six lead changes. Sarah Shaw got things going early for the Skyhawks, accounting for the team’s first two kills of the match. South Carolina would lead by as many as four points (12-8) before UT Martin made its push. A kill and service ace by Reigelsperger on back-to-back points helped the Skyhawks even the set at 14-all before a South Carolina attack error provided UT Martin with an 18-17 advantage. Rachel Noffsinger provided a kill and a service ace to pad the Skyhawk lead to two points while a Wessling kill gave UT Martin a 24-23 lead. However, the Gamecocks responded with the final three points of the set.
Shaw had four kills on just five swings while Wessling (four kills) and Lean (14 assists) also aided in the Skyhawks hitting .222 in the opening set.
Back-to-back kills by Jemima Idemudia and Wessling gave UT Martin a 4-3 lead in the second set. The Gamecocks would soon post seven unanswered points before Reigelsperger dialed up back-to-back kills to end South Carolina’s run. Reigelsperger also added another kill and a service ace in the set but the Gamecocks eventually built a double-digit lead on their way to the win.
Reigelsperger led the Skyhawks with three kills and six digs in the second set but UT Martin as a team struggled with 10 attack errors and a -.097 hitting percentage in the stanza.
The Skyhawks stormed out of the gates to take a 5-3 lead in the third set, as Reigelsperger accounted for a pair of kills and a block in the early stages. However, South Carolina used an 11-2 run to create some separation. Reigelsperger downed three consecutive aces at one point and UT Martin would climb back within three points at 22-19 but the Gamecocks wrapped up the win with three straight points.
Wessling and Reigelsperger shared the team lead with three kills while Lean divvyed out nine assists in the third set for the Skyhawks.
UT Martin returns to action next weekend (Sept. 2-3) when it takes part in the Little Rock Invitational. The Skyhawks will take on Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Arkansas-Little Rock during the tournament.