SKYHAWK VOLLEYBALL EARNS FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON ON DAY TWO OF WVU INVITATIONAL

August 26, 2017

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team picked up its first victory of the 2017 campaign this afternoon, defeating Delaware by a 3-1 margin (18-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-19) on Day Two of the WVU Invitational. Earlier in the day, the Skyhawks faced West Virginia and fell 3-0 to the host Mountaineers.

Jemima Idemudia led the UT Martin offense with 20 kills today, hitting .484 with only five errors in 31 attempts. The senior from Glendale, Ariz. also led the way with 10 blocks in just seven sets today on her way to all-tournament accolades.

Brooke Gyori had a team-best 25 digs today while Kenzie Hinshaw led the way with 45 assists to go along with 17 digs. Macy Reigelsperger and Megan Fair piled up 17 and 16 kills, respectively for the Skyhawk offense.

UT Martin goes back on the road next weekend for the UCA Invitational on Sept. 1-2. The Skyhawks will face Memphis and Little Rock on Friday before taking on host Central Arkansas on Saturday.

West Virginia

Gyori scooped up a match-high 15 digs but UT Martin could not overcome 44 total errors in the 3-0 loss to West Virginia out of the Big 12 Conference.

The Mountaineers jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set but a pair of Fair kills helped the Skyhawks creep within striking distance at 10-7. Idemudia followed with kills on back-to-back possessions to make the score 15-12 and the UT Martin deficit remained at three points after a Fair trimmed West Virginia’s lead to 19-16. However, the Mountaineers accounted for the next three points and the Skyhawks could not make a late push.

Fair (four), Reigelsperger (three) and Idemudia (three) combined for all of UT Martin’s 10 kills in the first set.

Both sides played even in the early stages of the second set until West Virginia claimed a 10-4 advantage. The Skyhawks then reeled off five unanswered points that included two kills, two assisted blocks and a service ace. The Mountaineers soon extended their advantage out to 18-11 but UT Martin took advantage of five straight errors before Reigelsperger and Justine Walker kills evened the score at 18-all. West Virginia followed with four straight points and the Skyhawks would ultimately not get closer than two points the rest of the way.

Gyori accumulated six digs to lead a UT Martin defense that tallied 16 digs and four blocks in the second set.

The Skyhawks trailed 7-2 in the third set before a kill by Hannah Phillips helped get UT Martin back within striking distance. Idemudia compiled back-to-back kills soon thereafter but the Mountaineers claimed a double-digit lead (18-8) and the Skyhawks did not pull within single-digits for the duration of the set.

For the second straight set, Gyori tallied six digs but the UT Martin offense struggled to the tune of -.156 (six kills, 11 errors) in 32 attempts.

Delaware

The Skyhawk offense turned up the intensity over the last three sets as Hinshaw pieced together the first double-double (36 assists, 12 digs) of her young career in UT Martin’s come-from-behind 3-1 win.

Neither side could pad an early advantage in the first set, as the lead did not exceed more than two points until the Blue Hens went ahead by a 9-6 margin. The Skyhawks stayed within three points at 15-12 but Delaware unreeled a 5-0 run before Rachel Noffsinger answered with a kill and an assisted block (alongside Hayley Gray) on back-to-back possessions. The Blue Hens would go on to score the next three points and lead by as many as nine on their way to the victory.

Fair had four digs to lead UT Martin in the opening set but the Skyhawks could only muster eight kills as a team.

A key run midway through the second set fueled the second set win for UT Martin. Hinshaw fed Idemudia for kills on three consecutive possessions while Fair and Noffsinger combined for three straight kills to extend the Skyhawk lead out to 10-6. Reigelsperger pitched in with two kills in the span of three points before a dual block by Hinshaw and Idemudia made the score 19-13 in favor of UT Martin. Noffsinger added two kills before Reigelsperger put the finishing touch on the victory with a kill to give the Skyhawks the 25-19 win.

The UT Martin offense sizzled during the second set, as Hinshaw divvied out 13 assists on the team’s 15 kills. The Skyhawks hit .414 in 29 swings.

Idemudia helped UT Martin gain a 6-5 lead in the third set, as she amassed three kills over a four-point stretch. The Skyhawks held a narrow 11-10 lead before UT Martin reeled off four straight points, capped off with a Walker kill. Delaware crept within a single point (15-14) but the Skyhawks put the set away with a 7-0 run, as the senior duo of Reigelsperger and Idemudia combined for two kills and two blocks apiece during UT Martin’s surge. Fair contributed two more kills to wrap up the set and give the Skyhawks a 2-1 lead in the process.

UT Martin once again excelled offensively in the third set, as the Skyhawks committed only two errors with a .391 hitting percentage in 23 attempts.

A late fourth set push by UT Martin resulted in the first victory of the season for the Skyhawks. Delaware was able to jump out to a 9-6 lead but Noffsinger helped UT Martin close the gap with a pair of kills. The freshman tandem of Walker and Hinshaw came away with kills to even the score at 10-10 and four ties followed before UT Martin’s game-changing run. Idemudia was responsible for two straight kills to ignite a 10-4 Skyhawk run, which concluded with a kill by Fair.

For the third straight set, the offense carried UT Martin. The Skyhawks dialed up 15 kills while hitting .419 as Fair (four kills in six swings) and Hinshaw (10 assists) kept the offense flowing at a dynamic pace.



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