September 5, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team hosted a tri-match today at Skyhawk Fieldhouse, falling to defending Big Sky Conference champion Northern Arizona (24-26, 25-22, 16-25, 22-25) in four sets before sweeping Alabama A&M (25-20, 25-17, 25-17).

Macy Reigelsperger registered a team-high 23 kills (3.29 per set) on the day while Jemima Idemudia amassed 21 kills on a .260 attack percentage in the two matches. Kelly Lean handed out 76 assists (10.86 per set) for an offense that hit .216 on the day while Colleen Larson scooped up 30 digs (4.29 per set) to guide the Skyhawk defense.

“The Northern Arizona loss was a little disappointing because we let the first set get away,” UT Martin head coach Jaclynn Yocum said. “They outblocked us 11-7 and that hurt us – I  think we have the ability to be a much better blocking team. Tonight against Alabama A&M, we hit on all cylinders and we were able to get our middles going. That’s something we have been working on all season so that was nice to see.”

The Skyhawks return to the road this weekend when they take part in the A-State Invitational in Jonesboro, Ark. UT Martin will face Tulsa and Arkansas State on Friday, Sept. 9 before taking on Central Arkansas on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Northern Arizona

A trio of Skyhawks collected double-doubles but Northern Arizona was able to escape with the four-set victory.

UT Martin led for a good portion of the first set but the Lumberjacks ended the set on an 8-3 run. Madison Wessling had back-to-back kills to help the Skyhawks claim a 7-3 advantage. A kill by Sarah Shaw kept UT Martin’s lead at four points (13-9) before Northern Arizona climbed back to even the score at 16-all. An Alisha Erves kill pushed the Skyhawk lead back out to 19-16 and moments later, Wessling picked up a service ace to keep the UT Martin advantage at three points (21-18). The Lumberjacks then began their comeback, as they had set point (24-22) before a Reigelsperger kill and a Northern Arizona attack error resulted in a 24-24 tie – the seventh deadlock of the set. The Lumberjacks then scored the final two points to claim the opening set.

Wessling had five kills and seven digs in the first set for the Skyhawks, while Lean (11 assists) and Larson (seven digs) also contributed to the UT Martin attack.

The Skyhawks built a 9-4 lead in the second set before an Idemudia kill provided UT Martin with its largest advantage of the set at 17-11. Northern Arizona crept closer after four unanswered points until Wessling came up with a kill to help the Skyhawks eventually extend their lead back out to four points. The score was soon tied at 22-22 but UT Martin rallied for the final three points, two of which came from Idemudia (kill, assisted block).

The offense clicked for the Skyhawks in the second set, as UT Martin hit .296 with 11 kills against only three errors in 27 attempts.

Northern Arizona started the third set with a 4-1 lead but Idemudia recorded two kills and a block during a 6-3 Skyhawk run that made the score 7-7. The Lumberjacks followed with the next five points of the set and despite three more Wessling kills from that point forward, UT Martin would not get any closer than four points the rest of the way.

Macy Catlett wrangled up six of the Skyhawks’ 19 digs in the third set.

Six different players compiled a kill through UT Martin’s first nine points of the fourth set. Back-to-back kills by Idemudia and Rachel Noffsinger padded the Skyhawk lead to 8-6 but Northern Arizona answered with seven of the next nine points. Lean slammed down a kill to tie the score at 18-18 but a 4-1 Lumberjack run eventually helped make the difference.

UT Martin was responsible for 15 kills in the fourth set, as five different Skyhawks had multi-kill performances in the final stanza.

Alabama A&M

The Skyhawk offense romped to a .271 hitting percentage as UT Martin captured its second sweep in the last three days.

Shaw opened the scoring for the Skyhawks with two straight kills. Neither side could open a lead larger than two points until UT Martin pieced together a 6-0 run late to put the set out of reach. Shaw added two more kills before Alabama A&M tied the score at 16-16. Shaw then continued her first set heroics with two more kills during the aforementioned run which led to a 22-16 Skyhawk lead. Erves piled up two quick kills to set up Idemudia for the set-clinching kill.

Shaw hit .625 with six kills in eight swings in the opening set while Lean distributed 13 assists for UT Martin.

The hot hand for the Skyhawks then transferred to Reigelsperger, who accounted for eight kills with zero errors in 10 attempts in the second set. After Idemudia tallied three kills during UT Martin’s first six points of the set, Reigelsperger went off for six kills in the span of nine points. When the dust settled, the Skyhawks had opened up a double-digit advantage (21-11) on their way to a 2-0 lead.

Lean had another remarkable performance in the second set, as she had a hand in 13 assists for UT Martin.

The Skyhawks jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the final set, aided by three Lady Bulldog attack errors. Idemudia and Wessling each had a pair of kills over a stretch of six UT Martin points while an Erves kill provided the Skyhawks with their biggest lead of the night at 21-7. Alabama A&M fought back to trim its deficit to seven points before a Reigelsperger kill put the finishing touches on the sweep.

Reigelsperger (team-high four kills), Lean (10 assists) and Larson (four digs) came up big for UT Martin in the third set.

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