IDEMUDIA SHOWS OUT AS SKYHAWKS SPLIT A PAIR OF FOUR-SET DECISIONS AT UAB TOURNEY
September 16, 2016
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Jemima Idemudia had a pair of breakout matches today to begin the Fight Like Hal Memorial Invitational, helping the University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team to a 3-1 win at UAB (26-24, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19) before falling by a 3-1 margin to Louisiana-Lafayette (25-20, 25-27, 27-29, 17-25).
Idemudia slammed down 34 kills in two matches today, averaging 4.25 rally killers per set. The junior middle blocker out of Glendale, Ariz. piled up 14 kills in the victory over UAB before establishing a new career-high with 20 kills against Louisiana-Lafayette. She hit .371 on the day while also adding a team-high seven blocks on the day.
Macy Reigelsperger also added 23 kills and 31 digs while Kelly Lean accumulated 98 assists for the Skyhawks (4-10). Colleen Larson paced UT Martin’s defensive attack with a team-high 33 digs on the day.
The Skyhawks round out the Fight Like Hal Memorial Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 17 when they take on in-state rival Memphis at 11 a.m.
Four different UT Martin players had at least 13 kills as Lean piled up 56 assists for an offense that hit .300 in the four-set triumph over UAB.
The Blazers (7-7) got off to a 4-2 lead in the opening set but the Skyhawks received three straight points via Madison Wessling kills to even the score at 7-all. UAB opened up a 15-11 advantage before a Reigelsperger kill capped off a 6-1 UT Martin run that tilted the score in favor of the Skyhawks at 17-16. After the Blazers reclaimed the lead at 22-20, UT Martin ended with six of the final eight points, concluding the set with an assisted block by Alisha Erves and Wessling.
UT Martin collected 17 kills in the first set, as Lean assisted on 15 of those kills. Larson also had 10 digs in the opening set to give the Skyhawks the early momentum.
Like the first set, UAB led by a 4-2 margin before four unanswered points by UT Martin resulted in its first lead of the set. The Skyhawks were able to expand their lead out to 13-7 but the Blazers pulled within three points (15-12). A pair of Wessling kills sandwiched around a Larson service ace extended UT Martin’s advantage back out to 18-12. UAB pulled within three points on two more occasions until Sarah Shaw ended things with a kill that provided the Skyhawks with a 2-0 lead in the match.
Shaw had two kills and an assisted block to account for three of UT Martin’s first four points in the third set, which had 13 ties and 10 lead changes. Moments later, Shaw also added two more rally killers while Idemudia added a kill and solo block to give the Skyhawks a 17-16 advantage. However, that would be the final lead that UT Martin would have in the set, as UAB ended the set on a 9-4 run.
Lean had 10 assists in the third set, four of which came off kills by Shaw.
UT Martin’s offense was a well-oiled machine in the fourth set, as the Skyhawks dialed up 20 kills against only three errors for a .447 attack percentage. UT Martin accounted for eight of the first 11 points of the set, forcing the Blazers to regroup with a timeout. The Blazers scored four straight points soon thereafter and closed to within a single point (15-14) before UT Martin posted a 7-1 run on its way to the win. Idemudia clinched the Skyhawk victory with her team-best fifth kill of the set.
Lean was remarkable in the fourth set, registering 18 assists to direct UT Martin.
A 20-kill effort from Idemudia and a double-double by Reigelsperger (10 kills, career-high 17 digs) was ultimately not enough for the Skyhawks, who won the first set before falling victim to a Louisiana-Lafayette comeback.
UT Martin trailed 5-4 in the first set but five consecutive mishaps by the Ragin’ Cajuns gave the Skyhawks a 9-5 lead. Louisiana-Lafayette later went on a run of its own to tie the score at 12-12 but Reigelsperger and Idemudia each had two kills to keep the lead in UT Martin’s hands. The score was later deadlocked at 19-all but the Skyhawks received kills from Wessling, Shaw and Idemudia during a 6-1 run to close out the opening set.
Idemudia piled up four kills to lead UT Martin in the first set.
The Skyhawks were guided by Idemudia in the early portion of the second set, as she had two kills and a block assist to help UT Martin jump out to a 9-6 advantage. Louisiana-Lafayette came back to tie the score at 11-11 but Erves responded with a kill to give the Skyhawks a one-point edge. From that point forward, neither side could extend its lead past one point until the final score of 27-25. UT Martin had set point on one occasion (24-23) but the Ragin’ Cajuns ended the set on a 4-1 run.
Lean (12 assists) and Jamie Scherb (six digs) guided the Skyhawks in the second set.
An Idemudia kill and a Scherb service ace provided UT Martin with an early lead in the third set. The Skyhawks faced a 10-7 deficit but an assisted block from Idemudia and Shaw gave UT Martin a 12-11 advantage. During a stretch of four points, Idemudia had three kills and a half-block to help the Skyhawks claim an 18-15 edge. However, Louisiana-Lafayette reeled off five unanswered points to go back on top. UT Martin faced elimination at 24-21 before a 4-0 Skyhawk run flipped the script and gave the Skyhawks set point at 25-24. UT Martin was in position to win the set on two more occasions but the Ragin’ Cajuns ended the set with three straight points.
Idemudia (eight kills), Lean (14 assists) and Reigelsperger (six digs) led the Skyhawks in the third set.
UT Martin began the fourth set on a roll, as Shaw and Reigelsperger each had two kills apiece while the Skyhawks led by a 7-3 margin. Louisiana-Lafayette scored six straight points but UT Martin would soon use a 5-0 run to claim a 15-13 edge. A Ragin’ Cajun attack error provided the Skyhawks with a 16-15 lead but Louisiana-Lafayette accounted for 10 of the final 11 points of the set.
Idemudia was responsible for four of UT Martin’s nine kills in the fourth set.