CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Freshman Madison Wessling dialed up a match-high 11 kills this afternoon for the University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team, but the Skyhawks fell 3-0 to Ohio Valley Conference West leader Austin Peay (17-25, 23-25, 16-25).
The performance by Wessling marked the third time in the last four matches that the Louisville, Ky. Native had led the team in kills. Emily Keaton added nine kills for the Skyhawks this afternoon, while Julia Devinney compiled seven kills and hit .286 for UT Martin (8-14, 2-4 OVC).
Amanda Crask added a match-high 31 assists while Chelsea Bowles registered a team-best 13 digs for the Skyhawks.
A solo block and a pair of kills by Allie Whimpey helped UT Martin stay close early in the first set. However, Austin Peay would go on an 8-2 run to take a 13-6 lead. The Skyhawks kept battling, using a 6-3 run to get within five points at 19-14 until the Lady Govs concluded the first set on a 6-3 run of their own.
Wessling (four kills) accounted for nearly half of UT Martin’s nine kills in the opening set.
The Skyhawks trailed early in the second set but two straight kills by Wessling made the score 8-6. Austin Peay then amassed four straight points to go ahead 12-6 before the Skyhawks came back with three unanswered to make the score 12-9. The margin remained three (15-12) until the Lady Govs went on a 4-1 run to lead by six. UT Martin then bounced back with a 10-4 run – keyed by three kills by Keaton – to even the score at 23-all and force Austin Peay to burn a timeout. However, Austin Peay came out of the timeout with two straight kills out of the break to end the set.
Keaton had six kills against zero errors on nine swings while Wessling compiled five kills with no errors in nine attempts to lead a Skyhawk offense that hit .286 with 17 kills in the second set. Crask handed out 16 assists while Bowles had seven digs in the second set alone.
The two squads played to a 5-5 tie early on in the third set but the Lady Govs recorded four straight points to go on top 9-5. UT Martin got back within three (10-7) thanks to a kill by Devinney but Austin Peay would soon score 11 of the next 14 points to make the score 21-10. The Skyhawks would eventually get back within eight points but the comeback attempt was too late for UT Martin.
Devinney was responsible for four kills on only six attempts for the Skyhawks in the third set.
UT Martin returns to action with two more road matches next weekend. The Skyhawks will pay a visit to Tennessee State on Friday, Oct. 18, followed by a matchup at Belmont on Saturday, Oct. 19.