MURRAY, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team fell 3-1 (20-25, 25-16, 17-25, 21-25) at Ohio Valley Conference rival Murray State this evening at Racer Arena.
Madison Wessling led the Skyhawk offense with 10 kills on a .280 attack percentage tonight, while Amanda Crask and Julia Devinney each accounted for eight kills. Crask added 33 assists and nine digs while Emily Keaton scooped up a team-best 14 digs. Chelsea Bowles and Lynsey Hazelwood also compiled 12 digs apiece for UT Martin (8-13, 2-3 OVC).
The Skyhawks trailed 5-1 in the first set but then followed with a 5-1 run of their own to even the score at 6-all. Murray State would lead 12-8 but UT Martin came right back with four unanswered points to result in the fourth tie of the set. With the score knotted at 13-all, Murray State accounted for three straight points and would soon extend its lead to 20-16. Hazelwood would come up with a kill for the next point but that was as close as UT Martin would get the rest of the set.
Crask’s four kills and seven assists led the way for the Skyhawks in the first set.
UT Martin bounced right back to claim the next set, scoring the first three points. The Skyhawks would lead 5-2 until five unanswered Murray State points culminated in an 11-8 Racer lead. However, UT Martin reeled off six straight points of its own, capped off by a Crask kill that gave the Skyhawks a 14-11 advantage. Later on, a kill by Whimpey led to a 19-14 UT Martin lead and the Skyhawks never looked back, rounding out the set with an assisted block by Hazelwood and Wessling.
Keaton and Whimpey each had three kills while Crask registered team-highs with eight assists and five digs in the second set to guide UT Martin.
Murray State led 6-2 early on in the third set until the Skyhawks clawed back to tie the score at 7-7 courtesy of an assisted block by Hazelwood and Wessling. UT Martin hung around and only trailed by a single point (11-10) before Murray State scored four of the next five points. The Skyhawks still were well within striking distance at 15-13 until six consecutive points by the Racers paved the way for a 25-17 victory.
Keaton, Devinney and Wessling each had three kills to account for nine of UT Martin’s 12 kills in the third set.
The Skyhawks led for the majority of the fourth set but couldn’t force a decisive fifth set. A 5-0 UT Martin run provided a 10-5 Skyhawk lead and moments later a Hazelwood kill resulted in a 15-11 advantage. UT Martin held a 17-16 lead but the Racers then scored five straight points to go on top by a 21-17 score. A kill by Whimpey would pull the Skyhawks back within one point at 22-21 but that would be the final point that UT Martin would score.
Wessling’s four kills led the Skyhawk offense while Hazelwood and Keaton each had five digs in the final set.
UT Martin will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 12 when it travels to in-state OVC rival Austin Peay. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m.