NORMAL, Ala. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team was defeated by Alabama A&M by a 3-1 margin (19-25, 25-18, 20-25, 20-25) this evening at TM Elmore Gymnasium.
Allie Whimpey generated a game-high 13 kills to lead the Skyhawks, while Alisha Erves (.471 attack percentage on 17 attempts) and Emily Keaton (.250 on 24 attempts) each put down nine kills. Amanda Crask piled up 41 assists while Chelsea Bowles and Lynsey Hazelwood each recorded 12 digs apiece for UT Martin (6-10).
A Whimpey kill in the first set evened the score at 4-all before Alabama A&M scored four straight points. A kill by Madison Wessling brought UT Martin within two points at 10-8 but Alabama A&M followed with a 6-1 run to go ahead 16-9. The Skyhawks bounced back to score six of the next nine points to make the score 19-15 but UT Martin would not get any closer than four points for the remainder of the set.
Whimpey slammed down four of UT Martin’s 13 kills in the first set.
The Skyhawks found themselves down 4-0 in the second set but would soon take their first lead of the set at 8-7, courtesy of a kill by Erves. A Crask service ace extended UT Martin’s lead out to 14-10 but Alabama A&M came back to get within two at 16-14. However, the Skyhawks answered with four unanswered points, capped off by a Hazelwood kill that put UT Martin on top by six (20-14). Keaton closed out the set with three kills from that point forward to even the match at 1-1.
UT Martin hit .240 as a team (11 kills, five errors in 25 attempts) in the second set.
Alabama A&M led 4-1 to start the third set but a 6-1 Skyhawk run would soon follow, resulting in a 9-7 UT Martin advantage. An assisted block by Whimpey and Wessling pushed the UT Martin lead out to 14-9 but five straight Alabama A&M points resulted in a tie. A Whimpey kill gave the Skyhawks a 16-15 lead but Alabama A&M came back with a 5-1 run to take the lead for good. UT Martin would get within two points at 21-19 but Alabama A&M tallied four of the final five points of the set.
Wessling was responsible for a kill and a service ace to keep the Skyhawks close at the beginning of the fourth set. Alabama A&M would lead 8-5 until four unanswered points, concluded by a Keaton kill, tilted the score in UT Martin’s advantage at 9-8. However, Alabama A&M then used another run to go on top by a 13-10 margin. A Keaton kill and back-to-back kills by Whimpey erased the Skyhawk deficit and UT Martin would eventually lead 15-14. The Skyhawk lead reached 18-17 before Alabama A&M scored seven of the next eight points en route to the win.
Whimpey had four kills while Crask tallied 12 assists for UT Martin in the fourth set.
The Skyhawks return home for the first time since Sept. 3 this weekend when they open Ohio Valley Conference play against SIU Edwardsville (Friday, Sept. 27) and Eastern Illinois (Saturday, Sept. 28). Those matches will begin at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.