VOLLEYBALL TEAM COMES UP JUST SHORT IN HOME OPENER, FALLING 3-2 TO TROY
August 31, 2012
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team led in the latter stages of the fifth set tonight against Troy in its opener of the First State Skyhawk Invitational, but the Trojans ended the match on a 6-1 run to claim a tight 3-2 win (16-25, 25-20, 17-25, 25-15, 13-15) over the Skyhawks.
UT Martin received spectacular efforts out of both of its seniors. Kasey Elswick turned in a 40-dig performance, only the second such in program history. Tonight’s match was just six digs shy of tying her own school record of 46, set last season at Eastern Kentucky. Offensively, Kelly Hogan recorded a match-high 13 kills in four sets before she departed the match because of an injury. Hogan would also add 11 digs for her 17th career double-double.
Sophomore Emily Keaton also notched a double-double (11 kills, 12 digs) and added a career-best four service aces this evening. UT Martin freshmen Lynsey Hazelwood (seven kills in two sets), Shelby Hoskins (six kills, team-high four blocks in four sets) and Chelsea Bowles (eight digs) also heavily contributed to the Skyhawk attack, while Brandy Dennis handed out a career-high 38 assists in four sets tonight.
The Skyhawks fell down early in the first set (3-0) but would come back to tie the score at 3-all thanks to a kill from Dallas Zimmerman. Troy would soon regain the lead but a Keaton kill willed UT Martin within 7-6. The Trojans then scored six unanswered, but the Skyhawks kept chipping away and eventually found themselves trailing by only five (21-16) late in the set. However, Troy scored four straight points to take a 1-0 lead.
Hogan had four kills in the first set alone, while Keaton scooped up a team-best six digs.
UT Martin once again started off slow (down 8-1) in the second set, but shook it off in time to recover and claim the set. The second set belonged mostly to Keaton, whose kill capped off an early 4-0 run that made the score 10-6 in Troy’s favor. Keaton then had back-to-back service aces to get the Skyhawks within three points before the Trojans would stretch their lead back out to five at 16-11. With UT Martin trailing 19-15, Keaton pieced together back-to-back kills, then added two more aces and a kill in a span of four points to give the Skyhawks their first lead of the set at 21-20. UT Martin would end the second set on a 9-0 run, capped off with a kill by Hoskins.
Keaton (four kills, four service aces) and Hogan (four kills against zero errors in six attempts) shined for the Skyhawks in the second set, while Elswick’s seven digs and Hoskins’ two solo blocks led the charge for the UT Martin defense.
The early portion of the third set featured three ties before Troy would open up a four-point advantage at 9-5. Hogan was credited with two kills in a span of three points to get the Skyhawks within one at 15-14, but Troy would soon go on a 7-1 run to take a 22-15 lead. UT Martin could not get any closer than six points the rest of the set.
Elswick scooped up 11 digs in the third set alone, while Keaton and Hogan once again had four kills apiece to pace the Skyhawks.
UT Martin put together its best offensive set in the fourth, hitting .238 in 42 attempts (14 kills, four errors). Kills by Hazelwood and Hoskins helped the Skyhawks jump out to a 4-2 lead, but Troy would come back to tie the match at 4-4. However, that would be as close as the Trojans would get the rest of the way, as a 4-0 UT Martin run led to a 10-5 Skyhawk lead soon thereafter. Hazelwood had a stretch where she slammed down three kills in a span of four points to give the Skyhawks a 19-11 lead. Zimmerman put the finishing touches on the set with a kill that gave UT Martin its biggest advantage of the fourth set (25-15).
Seeing time for the first time in the match, Hazelwood accounted for five kills (against one error) in 10 attempts in the fourth set, while Hoskins collected four kills. Elswick remarkably had her second straight set with double-figure digs (11).
The Skyhawks trailed 6-2 in the fifth set but would soon rally behind an inspired effort by redshirt freshman Taylor Simons. UT Martin clawed back into the match thanks in large part to the 5-8 outside hitter out of Stoney Creek, Ontario who effectively replaced Hogan in the fourth set. Simons tallied back-to-back kills to cap off a 9-2 Skyhawk run that tilted the advantage in UT Martin’s favor at 11-8. The Skyhawks were a mere two points away (13-11) from their first victory of the season before Troy bounced back to end the match with four straight points.
UT Martin will be back in action tomorrow in the final all-day event of the First State Skyhawk Invitational. The first of four matches tomorrow begins at 11 a.m., while the Skyhawks host Wright State at 1 p.m. and DePaul at 7 p.m.