September 30, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team battled tonight but ultimately dropped a 3-1 decision to SIUE (18-25, 25-23, 11-25, 16-25) in Ohio Valley Conference action at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.

Jemima Idemudia had a team-high 11 kills and had a hand in seven blocks for UT Martin (4-14, 0-3 OVC), who also received a match-high 31 assists out of Kelly Lean. Colleen Larson and Macy Reigelsperger shared the team lead with 12 digs while Macy Catlett corralled a career-best 10 digs for the Skyhawks.

SIUE (10-4, 3-0 OVC) began the match with three straight points before Idemudia produced a solo block. However, the Cougars would soon take a 7-1 lead before a Larson service ace eventually pulled UT Martin back within three points at 13-10. Moments later, Idemudia slammed down kills on four straight Skyhawk possessions to slice SIUE’s lead to 17-15. However, the Cougars reeled off four unanswered points to go ahead 21-15 and UT Martin would not get any closer than five points the rest of the way.

Idemudia had four kills with just one error in seven swings in the first set for the Skyhawks.

The second set included nine ties and seven lead changes until UT Martin emerged to even the match at 1-1. The Skyhawks held the early edge until SIUE took a 6-3 lead on its way to a 15-9 advantage. UT Martin’s comeback then hit full force, as Reigelsperger and Idemudia each had kills before back-to-back Cougar attack errors made the score 15-13. Making her return from injury tonight, Madison Wessling helped spur the run as she had two kills during an 11-4 run that tilted the score in favor of UT Martin at 20-19. The Skyhawks faced a 23-22 deficit but ended the set on a strong note, as Reigelsperger (kill), Idemudia (kill, assisted block) and Lean (assisted block) helped UT Martin even the match.

Lean assisted on 10 of the Skyhawks’ 12 kills while Reigelsperger scooped up a team-high five digs in the second set.

UT Martin’s first three kills in the third set came via Idemudia kills but SIUE turned a 5-5 tie into a 9-5 advantage. A Hayley Gray kill got the Skyhawks back within three points (10-7) but the Cougars were responsible for seven of the next nine points. UT Martin got back on the scoreboard following a SIUE attack error but the Cougars ended the set on an 8-1 run.

Idemudia generated three of the Skyhawks’ seven kills while Scherb had five digs to guide UT Martin in the third set.

SIUE began the fourth set on a 5-2 run on its way to a 10-5 lead. Wessling then had three kills during a 6-0 Skyhawk spurt that resulted in an 11-10 advantage for UT Martin. The Cougars bounced back for a 13-12 lead before scoring five unanswered points. Wessling ended the drought with yet another kill but SIUE closed out the set with seven of the final 10 points.

Wessling (four kills) and Catlett (five digs) led the Skyhawks in the final stanza.

UT Martin will look to recover on Saturday, Oct. 1 when it hosts Eastern Illinois. First serve from Skyhawk Fieldhouse is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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