March 18, 2017

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin beach volleyball era officially began this weekend with four matches at the Governors Beach Duals, hosted by Austin Peay at the Franklin Beach House.

The Skyhawks’ season began on Friday with a pair of matches, as UT Martin fell to Central Arkansas (5-0) and Missouri Baptist (4-1). The Skyhawks returned to action on Saturday, battling against Carson-Newman and Austin Peay before falling 5-0 in each match.

“We had a tough start to the season but overall, we had many positives we can build off of from this opening weekend,” UT Martin head coach Jaclynn Yocum said. “We are still trying to adjust to the tempo of the beach volleyball game but we will take what we learned from these matches and get better in practice during the upcoming weeks.”

Because the Skyhawks were shorthanded and could only field four teams, UT Martin’s opponents were automatically awarded a point at the start of each match. The Skyhawk duo of Macy Reigelsperger and Jemima Idemudia accounted for a victory against Missouri Baptist, outlasting the team of Sarah Bolton and Kelly Wilson with a 21-13, 21-23, 15-12 victory at No. 3.

Kelly Lean and Saphyra Coombs-James battled through a three-set decision at No. 4 against Missouri Baptist on Friday but could not pull out a win. That same duo also nearly came away with a victory during Saturday’s match against Austin Peay but fell in three sets (18-21, 21-15, 15-11) at No. 4.

The freshman team of Hannah Phillips and Macy Catlett also represented UT Martin at No. 1 throughout the weekend. Rachel Noffsinger and Hayley Gray also played at No. 2 in the first three matches of the event before sliding to No. 3 for the Austin Peay match.

The Skyhawks return to action on Saturday, April 8 when they take on both Austin Peay and Morehead State in matches that will take place at the Nashville Beach courts in Joelton, Tenn.

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