SKYHAWK VOLLEYBALL HOSTS A PAIR OF OVC FOES FOR 'DIG PINK' MATCHES THIS WEEKEND
October 26, 2016
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball squad hosts two of the top teams in the Ohio Valley Conference this weekend when Austin Peay and Murray State pay a visit to Skyhawk Fieldhouse. The Austin Peay match will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28 while the matchup against Murray State will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.
These two matches serve as part of a “Dig Pink” weekend for the Skyhawks, who are raising cancer awareness. Pink shirts, wristbands, cupcakes and cookies will be sold as UT Martin volleyball will also accept donations during both matches this weekend.
The Skyhawks (7-18, 3-7 OVC) come into the weekend just a half-game back of the projected OVC Tournament field. UT Martin is currently one of seven teams who are within two games of each other with three more weeks remaining in the regular season.
This weekend, the Skyhawks will look to avenge early season losses to both opponents. UT Martin opened OVC play with 3-0 losses at Murray State (15-25, 21-25, 27-29) and Austin Peay (21-25, 21-25, 16-25) on Sept. 23-24. Macy Reigelsperger paced the Skyhawks with 22 kills (3.67 per set) against those two teams, including career-highs of 15 kills and a .393 attack percentage against Murray State. Jamie Scherb’s 18 digs (3.00 per set) were a team-high for the UT Martin defense.
The Skyhawks are coming off a weekend road split, tallying a three-set sweep at Morehead State (26-24, 27-25, 25-22) before falling in four sets at Eastern Kentucky (25-19, 11-25, 14-25, 11-25). Madison Wessling reached double-digits in the kill column in both matches, amassing 22 total kills (3.14 per set). Kelly Lean (65 assists, 9.29 per set) and Colleen Larson (26 digs, 3.71 per set) also helped guide UT Martin.
On the season, the Skyhawk offense is heavily aided by Lean’s 9.96 assists per set (second-best mark in the OVC) while Alisha Erves’ .249 attack percentage ranks 10th in the conference. Larson’s 3.69 digs per set is the 10th best mark in the OVC while Jemima Idemudia ranks in the top-10 in the league in both blocks (1.11 per set, fifth) and points (3.45 per set, ninth).
Austin Peay is responsible for the most overall wins (19 against just eight losses) in the OVC while sitting in second place in the league standings with an 8-2 mark. The Governors have won 14 of their last 16 decisions, thanks in large part to an offense that leads the conference with a .223 team attack percentage. Kaylee Taff (.322) is the OVC leader in hitting percentage while reigning OVC Setter of the Week Kristen Stucker hands out a league-high 10.13 assists per set. A key to Austin Peay’s recent success has also been the play of Ashley Slay, who was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 11.
Two-time defending league champion Murray State (14-8, 9-1 OVC) is perched atop the OVC standings. The Racers have won nine of their last 10 contests and enter this weekend on a six-match winning streak – four of which have been 3-0 sweeps. The Murray State offense features two-time OVC Player of the Year Scottie Ingram (347 kills, 4.23 per set) and ranks first in the OVC with 13.21 kills and 12.54 assists per set. Defensively, Ellie Lorenz scoops up an OVC-high 5.04 digs per set for the Racers.
Friday’s match against Austin Peay can be viewed live, free of charge, on the OVC Digital Network at the link above. Links for live stats for both matches can also be found at the top of the webpage.