October 12, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team holds a brief two-match homestand this weekend as it hosts Ohio Valley Conference foes Tennessee State on Friday, Oct. 14 and Belmont on Saturday, Oct. 15. The Tennessee State match will begin at 6 p.m. while first serve against Belmont is set for 2 p.m.

The Skyhawks (5-16, 1-5 OVC) hold a 10-9 lead in the all-time series against Belmont and also boast a 31-17 all-time mark against Tennessee State. UT Martin has won 21 of the 31 matchups against those two squads in matches played at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.

UT Martin split a pair of matches last week, defeating Southeast Missouri in five sets (25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 24-26, 15-11) at home before dropping a four-set decision at Tennessee Tech (21-25, 17-25, 25-23, 11-25). Jemima Idemudia led the Skyhawks in kills (26, 2.89 per set), attack percentage (.262) and blocks (12, 1.33 per set) in the pair of matches last week.

Senior libero Colleen Larson made history at Tennessee Tech last Saturday, as she became just the 10th member of UT Martin’s 1,000 Dig Club. The Naperville, Ill. native has played some of her best volleyball of the season over the past two weeks, as she has tallied 57 digs in the last three matches (4.38 per set).

On the season, Skyhawk setter Kelly Lean shares the OVC lead in assists (723, 9.90 per set) while Idemudia’s 200 kills (2.74 per set) pace UT Martin. Larson’s 3.55 digs per set rank ninth in the conference.

Tennessee State (12-10, 3-3 OVC) has won three of its last four matches thanks in large part to the recent play of Payten Clark, who is the reigning adidas OVC Newcomer of the Week. The freshman recorded 24 kills on a .340 attack percentage, 10 digs and 15 blocks for the Tigers last week, helping Tennessee State split at Eastern Kentucky (lost 3-0) and at Morehead State (won 3-2). She ranks second in the OVC with a .316 attack percentage while Chloe Watson (team-high 260 kills, 3.25 per set) and Cherlie Adorno-DeJesus (351 digs, 4.39 per set) also lead the Tiger attack.

Defending OVC Tournament champion Belmont enters the weekend with a 10-6 overall record and a 4-2 conference mark, just one game out of the top spot in the OVC standings. The Bruins lead the nation with 2.22 service aces per set and have five of the top six servers in the conference, paced by Brie Lewis (28 service aces, 0.47 per set). Arianna Person (3.75 kills per set) and Emma Price (9.90 assists per set) lead Belmont offensively while Ellie Ivancich (3.44 digs per set) and Alexa Nichols (0.80 blocks per set) set the tone for the Bruin defense.

Both games this weekend can be viewed live, free of charge, on the OVC Digital Network at this links listed above. Links for live stats can also be found at the top of the webpage.

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