ELSWICK RECORDS 2,000TH CAREER DIG BUT VOLLEYBALL TEAM FALLS IN DAY TWO OF ARKANSAS INVITATIONAL
August 25, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior libero Kasey Elswick set yet another milestone this afternoon as The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team wrapped up its participation in the Arkansas Invitational, falling 3-0 to Kansas (19-25, 17-25, 23-25) and 3-1 to Northwestern State (17-25, 21-25, 25-21, 21-25) at Barnhill Arena.
Elswick, from Louisville, Ky., led the UT Martin defense with 37 digs in the two matches today, giving her 2,015 digs through 95 career matches. She becomes the eighth player in Ohio Valley Conference history to tally at least 2,000 career digs.
Senior Kelly Hogan led the Skyhawk offense with 20 total kills this afternoon, while Brandy Dennis (36 assists) and Amanda Crask (26) shared time at setter. Dallas Zimmerman turned away a team-high seven blocks to pace UT Martin defensively today.
Against Big 12 member Kansas, Hogan tallied a team-best 11 kills, while Crask handed out 24 assists. Elswick’s 14 digs and Jackie Harter’s four blocks set the tone for the Skyhawk defense.
The Skyhawks received a huge effort out of freshman Zimmerman against Northwestern State, as she accumulated team-highs of 12 kills and six blocks. Dennis’ 36 assists came up one shy of her career set last season against Tennessee Tech on Oct. 18, while Elswick was responsible for 23 digs to lead UT Martin.
Following the Northwestern State contest, Crask was named to the all-tournament squad.
“Our freshmen are playing well, but we are going to go as far as our veterans take us,” Skyhawk head coach Darrin McClure said. “Both Kansas and Northwestern State are good teams and we just aren’t quite there yet.”
UT Martin will hold its home opener next weekend, hosting Troy, Wright State and DePaul in the second-annual First State Skyhawk Invitational. The Skyhawks will battle Troy on Friday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. and will follow that with a pair of matches on Saturday, Sept. 1 (Wright State at 1 p.m., DePaul at 7 p.m.). Overall, the tournament features six matches to be played through two days – all taking place at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.
The Skyhawks trailed 5-2 early but unreeled four straight points thanks to a pair of blocks from Harter and one from Hogan. UT Martin would take the lead on two more occasions before the Jayhawks used a 4-1 run to lead 12-9. Lynsey Hazelwood and Crask then tallied back-to-back kills to pull the Skyhawks within one point. Kansas would eventually stretch its advantage back out to three before a kill and service ace by Hogan made the score 16-15. However, the Jayhawks scored four of the next five points and eventually took the set by a 25-19 margin.
Hazelwood’s four kills and six digs led the Skyhawks in the first set, while Crask and Hogan each chipped in three kills apiece.
UT Martin found itself in a 6-1 hole to begin the second set before consecutive kills by Harter and Hogan. After Kansas opened up an 11-5 lead, the Skyhawks generated five straight points to cut their deficit to a single point. The Jayhawks would soon score three unanswered points to take a five-point lead, but UT Martin pulled back within two after an assisted block by Emily Keaton and Harter. In spite of the Skyhawks’ run, Kansas would tally three straight points and UT Martin would not get within four points the rest of the way.
Hogan notched three of the Skyhawks’ eight kills in the second set.
The Skyhawks kept the third set close throughout before Kansas eventually escaped with a 25-23 win. UT Martin started off hot – taking a 3-1 lead thanks to the hot hand of Keaton, who at one point accounted for three straight points. The Skyhawks held a 7-5 advantage before Kansas scored five straight points to go ahead 10-7. Shortly thereafter, UT Martin would erase a three-point deficit by going on a 5-0 run. The Skyhawks stretched their lead out to three after a Keaton kill made the score 17-14. After a Jayhawk timeout, Kansas scored four straight points to take a brief lead, but UT Martin recovered to lead as late as 21-20. The match was tied at 22-all and a Hogan kill staved off an elimination to make the score 24-23, but Kansas ended the set with a kill moments later.
Keaton (six kills against zero errors in eight attempts) and Hogan (five) were the offensive stars for UT Martin in the third set, while Elswick racked up seven digs to lead the Skyhawk defense.
A Hogan kill got things started in the first set, setting the tone for UT Martin to take an early 5-3 advantage. The Lady Demons would soon go on a 5-0 run to take a 9-6 lead. With the margin still at three points, Northwestern State would tack on another lengthy run – this time scoring six straight points to take a 17-8 lead. The Skyhawks clawed back with an 8-4 run, but the Lady Demons closed out the set with three consecutive points to win 25-17.
Hogan, Crask and Keaton each registered two kills apiece to lead UT Martin in the first set.
In the second set, the Skyhawks led early on, eventually claiming a 10-7 lead after a solo block by Zimmerman. Northwestern State then scored five unanswered to go on top 12-10 before UT Martin responded with a run of its own – reeling off six consecutive points to maintain a 16-12 advantage. However, the Lady Demons then pieced together a 9-1 run to lead 24-18. UT Martin scored three straight points to make the score 24-21 but the comeback came up just short in a 25-21 loss.
Elswick’s eight digs helped the Skyhawks hold Northwestern State to a .083 attack percentage in the second half.
UT Martin overcame deficits of 3-0, 5-1 and 7-2 to win the third set by a 25-21 margin. Harter ignited the Skyhawk comeback, slamming down three straight kills to slice UT Martin’s deficit to 8-6. Hogan then came up with back-to-back kills, followed by two straight kills by Zimmerman, helping the Skyhawks take their first lead of the set at 15-14. Despite two more kills by Harter, Northwestern State led 18-17 before a 6-0 UT Martin run switched up the momentum. Kills by Hogan and Zimmerman closed out the set with the Skyhawks claiming a 25-21 victory.
Harter tallied five kills and a .833 hitting percentage (zero errors in six attempts) in the third set, as UT Martin hit .226 in 31 attempts. Zimmerman and Hogan each chipped in four kills, while Dennis handed out a dozen assists in the third set.
Zimmerman stayed hot to begin the fourth set, accounting for both of the Skyhawks’ first two points via a kill. Harter then amassed three kills in a span of four points for UT Martin, who capped off a 5-0 run with a Hogan kill that made the score 9-5. The Lady Demons would then score seven unanswered to take a 12-9 lead, but the Skyhawks responded with three straight points to even the score at 12-all. Two straight kills by Zimmerman gave UT Martin a 14-13 edge but Northwestern State took another lead before back-to-back kills by Keaton and Taylor Simons tilted the score 16-15 in UT Martin’s favor. After the score was deadlocked at 17-17, the Skyhawks scored three of the next four points to lead 21-19, but the Lady Demons ended the set with six consecutive points.
Zimmerman (six) and Harter (four) combined for 10 of UT Martin’s 16 kills in the fourth set. Dennis (12 assists) and Elswick (seven digs) also stood out for the Skyhawks.