September 13, 2013

South Alabama Boxscore     South Alabama PDF     Arkansas State Boxscore     Arkansas State PDF

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Junior Allie Whimpey recorded a pair of double-digit kill performances today but the University of Tennessee at Martin fell 3-1 to South Alabama (23-25, 13-25, 28-26, 14-25) and 3-1 to Arkansas State (25-15, 12-25, 17-25, 21-25) on the opening day of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash.

Whimpey’s 10 kills led the Skyhawks (6-4) in the morning matchup against South Alabama. Emily Keaton slammed down nine kills against only one error, while Amanda Crask (eight kills) and Shelby Hoskins (seven kills) also paced the offense. Crask added 28 assists and 13 digs while Chelsea Bowles (team-high 18 digs) and Keaton (11 digs) helped guide the defense.

Against Arkansas State, UT Martin was led by Lynsey Hazelwood’s 11 kills and 13 digs – her second double-double in the last three matches. Whimpey amassed 10 kills while Crask handed out 30 assists while Bowles tallied 12 digs.

An assisted block by Keaton and Julia Devinney got the Skyhawks out to an 8-2 start in the first set against South Alabama. However, South Alabama would score six unanswered points to even the score before two straight attack errors tilted the score back in UT Martin’s advantage. South Alabama briefly led 12-11 before back-to-back kills by Hazelwood and Hoskins resulted in a Skyhawk lead. South Alabama answered with a 6-1 run and although UT Martin would battle back to even the score at 20-all, the Skyhawks could not break through to take another lead in the set.

Despite the narrow loss, UT Martin (.257) outhit South Alabama (.222), as the Skyhawks tallied 12 kills against three errors in 35 attempts.

The Skyhawks clawed out of a 4-1 deficit to go on top 5-4 in the second set. South Alabama then scored eight unanswered points before a Crask kill ended the run. A pair of kills by Hoskins during a 3-1 UT Martin pulled the Skyhawks within five at 16-11 but South Alabama then scored four straight points and UT Martin would not get within eight points for the duration of the set.

South Alabama led 5-1 in the third set before UT Martin made a comeback. The Skyhawks kept chipping away and with UT Martin trailing 16-13, Whimpey went on a tear – unreeling three consecutive kills to singlehandedly even the score. The Skyhawks then broke through to take a 20-19 lead courtesy of a Hoskins kill. South Alabama then scored three straight points but UT Martin would soon gain the upper hand, as a kill by Devinney and an attack error gave the Skyhawks the 28-26 win.

Whimpey’s six kills and Bowles’ seven digs helped UT Martin come away with the fourth set victory.

UT Martin trailed 4-2 early in the fourth set before South Alabama went on a 4-0 run. A service ace by Keaton got the Skyhawks got back within four (9-5) but South Alabama then scored five unanswered points. The Skyhawks would continue to battle but ultimately would not get any closer than eight points the rest of the way.

The first set of the Arkansas State match was tight in the early going, as the two teams traded blows to the tune of six ties through 9-9. UT Martin then scored four straight points to take a 13-9 lead. A late 7-1 run by the Skyhawks resulted in a double-digit lead (23-13) as UT Martin cruised to the 25-15 victory.

Hazelwood’s four kills on six swings led UT Martin, who hit a remarkable .385 with zero errors on 26 attempts in the first set.

Arkansas State led 5-1 to start off the second set but two straight kills by Hazelwood and Keaton sliced the Skyhawk deficit to 8-6. Arkansas State would then score six unanswered points and UT Martin could not recover from that point forward.

Hazelwood (three kills) and Whimpey (three kills) accounted for six of the Skyhawks’ eight kills in the second set.

The two teams swapped points back-and-forth early in the third set before a 5-0 Arkansas State run. UT Martin fought back behind a pair of Devinney kills to get back within a single point at 7-6 but Arkansas State responded with six unanswered points. A pair of Keaton service aces capped off a 4-0 Skyhawk run and made the score 13-10. UT Martin kept the margin at three (17-14) until Arkansas State ended the set on an 8-3 run.

The fourth set was reminiscent of the first set, as the two teams combined for 12 ties and six lead changes while the margin of lead did not exceed two points until the score was 19-16. UT Martin took its first lead at 10-9 off a Keaton kill and the Skyhawks led 16-15 courtesy of a service ace by Colleen Larson. However, Arkansas State scored six straight points to go on top 21-16. A solo block by Hoskins and a kill by Keaton bumped UT Martin within two at 23-21 but Arkansas State would account for the final two points of the set.

Whimpey’s five kills in the set paced the Skyhawks.

UT Martin returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 14 when it faces Nicholls State (9 a.m.) and host Alabama (7 p.m.) in the second and final day of the Hampton Inn Bama Bash.