VOLLEYBALL DROPS A PAIR OF DECISIONS AGAINST STOUT OPPOSITION AT A-STATE INVITATIONAL
September 9, 2016
JONESBORO, Ark. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team ran into a pair of tough opponents during the first day of the A-State Invitational, falling by 3-0 margins against Tulsa (15-25, 16-25, 18-25) and host Arkansas State (14-25, 17-25, 16-25) today.
Jemima Idemudia built up team-highs of 11 kills, a .364 attack percentage and five blocks to guide the Skyhawks (3-8) today. Kelly Lean (46 assists) and Colleen Larson (19 digs) also led UT Martin in its two matches.
The Skyhawks will look to round out the A-State Invitational on a high note when they square off against Central Arkansas on Saturday, Sept. 10. First serve is set for 10:30 a.m.
UT Martin was not able to get things going in its first match this morning, as Tulsa improved to 6-1 on the season.
The Golden Hurricane scored the first five points of the match before a Rachel Noffsinger kill got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard. A solo block by Macy Reigelsperger and two additional Tulsa attack errors pulled UT Martin within three points at 7-4. Moments later, Idemudia registered two kills to keep the Skyhawk deficit at three points but the Golden Hurricane answered with three straight points to make the score 19-13. UT Martin sided out on the next point but Tulsa ended the set on a 6-1 run.
The Skyhawk offense struggled in the opening set, hitting just .040 (six kills, five errors) in 25 attempts.
The second set began with the Golden Hurricane posting a 5-1 run before UT Martin roared back to eventually even the set at 10-all. Lean was responsible for two of the Skyhawks’ four kills while four different UT Martin players (Reigelsperger, Idemudia, Sarah Shaw, Alisha Erves) had their hands in blocks during the surge. Tulsa then quickly regained the momentum back with seven consecutive points and although the Skyhawks would soon trim their deficit to five points, the Golden Hurricane scored five of the final six points of the set.
Once again, the UT Martin offense struggled to find a rhythm in the second set, as the Skyhawks hit .000 with eight errors in 25 swings.
The score was tied at 3-3 to start the final set but Tulsa soon claimed a 10-5 advantage. Hayley Gray and Reigelsperger each downed two kills apiece to help UT Martin climb within three points (15-12) but soon thereafter, the Golden Hurricane reeled off six unanswered points. Gray would add two more kills but ultimately the Skyhawks would not get any closer than five points the rest of the way.
Gray hit .714 (five kills, no errors) in seven attempts while Lean (12 assists) and Larson (10 digs) each performed well for UT Martin in the third set.
For the second straight match, the Skyhawk offense hit below .100 as defending Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State (6-3) hit .463 on its way to the win.
After the Red Wolves scored the first two points of the match, Noffsinger rose high for a solo block to get UT Martin going. The Skyhawk trio of Idemudia, Reigelsperger and Madison Wessling would later add kills but Arkansas State used an 8-1 run to produce a 13-4 advantage. The Red Wolves led 18-6 until UT Martin accounted for four of the next five points to get back within single-digits. However, Arkansas State’s early success was too much for the Skyhawks to overcome.
UT Martin hit .077 with seven kills (against five errors) in the opening set.
Idemudia notched a pair of kills to help result in a 4-3 Skyhawk advantage in the first set. The Red Wolves eventually retook the lead but neither side could create separation until a 3-0 Arkansas State run to made the score 11-7. Erves, Reigelsperger and Idemudia then had quick kills to pull UT Martin within two points at 12-10 but the Red Wolves followed with 10 of the next 13 points to put the set out of reach.
Offensively, the Skyhawks showed major improvement in the second set as they hit .219 with 14 kills (against seven errors) in 32 attempts.
UT Martin took advantage of several Arkansas State errors early in the third set, as the Skyhawks found themselves in a 5-4 deficit. Despite kills by Reigelsperger and Wessling, the Red Wolves posted an 8-2 run to go ahead by a 13-6 margin. Erves was responsible for UT Martin’s next two points with a pair of kills as the Skyhawks tried to ease back within striking distance at 15-10. The margin remained at five points (18-13) but Arkansas State ended the match on a 7-3 run.
As a team, UT Martin hit -.080 (seven kills, nine errors) in 25 attempts in the final set.