UTM VOLLEYBALL BEGINS LENGTHY HOME STRETCH THIS WEEKEND AGAINST SIUE, EIU

September 28, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team returns to the friendly surroundings of Skyhawk Fieldhouse for the first time in nearly a month when it hosts Ohio Valley Conference rivals SIUE (7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30) and Eastern Illinois (2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1) this weekend.

The Skyhawks (4-13, 0-2 OVC) will be making their first appearance in front of the home crowd since taking part in a tri-match with Northern Arizona and Alabama A&M on Sept. 5. This weekend’s pair of matches begins a three-week stretch where UT Martin plays five of its next six contests at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.

After starting the conference season with a pair of tough losses, the Skyhawks will look to turn the tide against their opponents from the Land of Lincoln. The weekend begins with a matchup against SIUE, who UT Martin has defeated five straight times at home dating back to 2011.

Macy Reigelsperger led the Skyhawks in their OVC-opening weekend, slamming down 22 kills (3.67 per set) on a .212 attack percentage in losses at Murray State and Austin Peay. Kelly Lean continues to lead the OVC in assists (10.02 per set) while Colleen Larson (3.39 digs per set, 10th) and Jemima Idemudia (1.07 blocks per set, fourth) each rank in the top-10 in the league in their respective defensive categories.

SIUE (9-4, 2-0 OVC) leads the OVC in kills (13.43 per set), assists (12.55 per set) and digs (17.49 per set). The Cougars are arguably the hottest team in the OVC, having won eight of their last nine decisions. The hot streak includes a pair of home sweeps last weekend against Eastern Illinois and Tennessee State, as junior Katie Shashack piled up 32 digs in six sets to add to her OVC-leading average of 5.02 digs per set.

Eastern Illinois comes into the weekend with a 3-14 record and an 0-2 mark in OVC play. Sophomore Taylor Smith has racked up six triple-doubles over the last 13 matches, leading the Panthers in kills (131), assists (265), service aces (19) and digs (177). Maggie Runge has swatted away an OVC-best 1.25 blocks per set to lead the Eastern Illinois defense.

Friday’s match against SIUE can be heard locally by WUTM 90.3 FM, UT Martin’s award-winning student radio station, at the link above. Saturday’s match against Eastern Illinois can be viewed live, free of charge, on the OVC Digital Network at the link found at the top of the webpage. Live stats for both matches can also be tracked at the links above.



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