September 10, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – Senior libero Colleen Larson equaled a career-high with 20 digs in just three sets for the University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team but the Skyhawks fell to Central Arkansas (16-25, 18-25, 24-26) to close out the A-State Invitational today.

Larson’s season-best 20 scoops marked the fourth time in her career that she had reached that plateau in a single match. The Naperville, Ill. native accounted for nearly half of UT Martin’s 43 digs on the day.

Offensively, Macy Reigelsperger compiled a team-high nine kills while Kelly Lean registered 27 assists for the Skyhawks (3-9). Jemima Idemudia, who was named to the five-member A-State Invitational all-tournament team, also added seven kills (on a .385 attack percentage) and a team-best four blocks for UT Martin.

Reigelsperger was responsible for a trio of kills and an assisted block to help the Skyhawks race out to a 6-3 lead in the first set. UT Martin’s lead stayed at three points until five unanswered points gave Central Arkansas a 10-8 advantage. A pair of Bear miscues kept the Skyhawks within a single point at 12-11 but Central Arkansas was able to end the set by scoring 13 of the final 18 points.

Reigelsperger had four of UT Martin’s eight kills in the opening set while Larson compiled six digs.

The Skyhawks began the second set on a roll, as three of UT Martin’s first five points came via Idemudia kills. The Skyhawks held an early lead but Central Arkansas used an 8-0 run to claim a 15-6 lead midway through the set. Reigelsperger had three kills in the span of four points and moments later, Alisha Erves added back-to-back kills to ignite a UT Martin rally. The Skyhawks would eventually close their gap to six points before the Bears closed out the set.

Idemudia and Reigelsperger shared the team lead with four kills in the second set, while Lean (11 assists) and Larson (five digs) also stood out for UT Martin.

The third set was a back-and-forth affair, as the lead changed hands four times and 13 ties occurred before Central Arkansas claimed the 26-24 win. Kills by Madison Wessling, Idemudia and Reigelsperger provided UT Martin with the early 6-5 advantage. The Bears rebounded to take a 13-11 lead but the Skyhawks charged back with a 5-1 run, taking advantage of four Central Arkansas errors en route to a 17-15 lead. Back-to-back kills by Sarah Shaw and Lean resulted in a 20-17 UT Martin advantage but three ties soon followed. The Skyhawks were in position for set point at 24-23 but the Bears pieced together the final three points of the set to wrap up the match.

Shaw (five kills), Lean (11 assists) and Larson (nine digs) guided the Skyhawks in the third and final set.

UT Martin returns to action next weekend for its final non-conference tournament of the season, as it takes part in the Fight Like Hal Memorial Invitational in Birmingham, Ala. The Skyhawks will match up against host UAB and Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday, Sept. 16 before taking on in-state rival Memphis on Saturday, Sept. 17.

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