LARSON REACHES 1,000 CAREER DIGS BUT SKYHAWK VOLLEYBALL FALLS 3-1 AT TTU
October 8, 2016
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Senior libero Colleen Larson became the 10th member of University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball history to eclipse 1,000 career digs today but the Skyhawks dropped a four-set decision (21-25, 17-25, 25-23, 11-25) at Tennessee Tech.
Larson needed just four digs to join the exclusive club and answered with 21 scoops – just one shy of her career-high mark that was set against Eastern Illinois last Saturday. The senior out of Naperville, Ill. was one of five Skyhawks to reach double-figures in the dig column this afternoon for UT Martin (5-16, 1-5 Ohio Valley Conference).
Kelly Lean had 37 assists and a career-high 13 digs for her third double-double of the season for the Skyhawks. Jamie Scherb (14 digs), Macy Catlett (10 digs) and Madison Wessling (10 digs) also led the defense while Jemima Idemudia (team-high 13 kills) and Alisha Erves (10 kills) guided UT Martin offensively.
Four Tennessee Tech attack errors provided the Skyhawks with their first lead of the match at 6-5. The Golden Eagles followed with four unanswered points until kills by Erves, Sarah Shaw and Wessling gave UT Martin the lead back at 11-10. Tennessee Tech came back to take a 17-14 lead but Idemudia (kill) and Macy Reigelsperger (service ace) willed the Skyhawks back within a single point. Wessling dialed up a kill to keep the margin at one point (20-19) but the Golden Eagles rounded out the set on a 5-2 run.
Lean (12 assists) helped UT Martin hit .270 as a team in the first set.
The Skyhawks held a 6-5 lead in the second set but Tennessee Tech used a 4-0 run to go on top by a 9-6 margin. A service ace by Rachel Noffsinger evened the score at 9-all before the Golden Eagles would later score seven of 10 points during one stretch to go ahead 18-13. UT Martin would eventually trim its deficit to four points but Tennessee Tech took a 2-0 lead after scoring five of the final six points in the set.
Wessling was responsible for team-highs of three kills and five digs in the second set for the Skyhawks.
Hayley Gray (kill) and Scherb (service ace) gave UT Martin an early lead in the third set. Idemudia and Lean paired up for assisted blocks twice in the span of three possessions to help the Skyhawks extend their lead to 5-2 but Tennessee Tech went on an 11-4 run to go on top by four points. Lean accounted for two service aces during a 10-3 UT Martin surge which gave the Skyhawks a 20-17 advantage. The Golden Eagles slid back within a single point at 24-23 before Erves extended the match with a kill to end the third set.
Idemudia (five kills) led UT Martin offensively while Larson (eight digs) was the Skyhawks’ defensive leader in the third set.
Tennessee Tech established early momentum by scoring the first three points of the fourth set. Reigelsperger, Idemudia and Erves came through with kills to make the score 5-3 but the Golden Eagles would soon take an 18-8 advantage following a 12-4 Tennessee Tech run. Erves added a late kill to cap off a span of three unanswered points for UT Martin but the Golden Eagles answered with seven unanswered points on their way to the win.
Despite the setback, Larson and Scherb each piled up five digs for the Skyhawks in the final set.
UT Martin returns home for a pair of matches next weekend, as it hosts in-state OVC rivals Tennessee State (Oct. 14, 6 p.m.) and Belmont (Oct. 15, 2 p.m.).