VOLLEYBALL TEAM FALLS TO NICHOLLS STATE AND SOUTHERN ILLINOIS IN FINAL DAY OF SALUKI INVITATIONAL
September 8, 2012
CARBONDALE, Ill. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team battled today at the Saluki Invitational, but fell 3-0 to Nicholls State (18-25, 24-26, 22-25) and Southern Illinois (23-25, 11-25, 20-25) at Davies Gym.
Taylor Simons led the Skyhawks with 16 kills on the day, while Jackie Harter and Emily Keaton each added 13 kills apiece. Amanda Crask amassed 51 assists today, while Kasey Elswick (35 digs) and Harter (five blocks) led the UT Martin defense today.
The Skyhawks will take part in their fourth tournament of the season next weekend (Sept. 14-15) when they travel to Montgomery, Ala. for the Alabama State Invitational.
Nicholls State led 9-1 in the first set before a Lynsey Hazelwood kill began a 4-1 run for the Skyhawks to make the score 10-5. The margin would stay at five as late as 14-9 before the Colonels used a run to go on top by an 18-10 margin. Nicholls State opened up a 22-13 lead until back-to-back kills by Crask and Simons pulled the Skyhawks back within 22-17. The Colonels would then score three of the last four points of the set.
Hazelwood’s four kills and Elswick’s 10 digs were team-highs for UT Martin in the first set.
A kill by Harter got the Skyhawks on the board in the second set and moments later, a Keaton kill would slingshot UT Martin ahead 4-3. The score would stay close until the Skyhawks broke an 8-8 tie with four straight points – two of which came off service aces by Brandy Dennis. However, Nicholls State battled back to take a lead before UT Martin tied the match at 13-13 and 14-14. The Colonels went back ahead but the Skyhawks got within one at 18-17 before Nicholls State scored three consecutive points. Trailing by four at 21-17, the Skyhawks then went scored four of the next six points to make the score 23-22. UT Martin tied the match at 24-all but Nicholls State ended the set with back-to-back kills.
Keaton (four kills) and Elswick (seven digs) led the Skyhawks in the second set.
The Colonels scored the first four points of the third set but the Skyhawks battled back to tie the match at 5-5 thanks to two service aces by Lucy Martin. Nicholls State would soon take the lead again but UT Martin hung within two points until a three-point surge made the score 12-11 in the Skyhawks’ advantage. After the Colonels tied the match at 12-all, UT Martin went on a 4-1 run – including three straight kills by Simons – to make the score 16-13. Nicholls State would follow with a 5-1 run of its own to take a small lead before a Harter kill evened the score at 18-18. The Skyhawks stayed within striking distance and only trailed 23-22 towards the end of the set before the Colonels closed out the set with two straight points.
Simons (five kills against one error in 10 attempts) led the offensive attack for UT Martin, while Elswick tallied seven digs in the set.
The Skyhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first set but the Salukis followed with a 5-1 run immediately thereafter. Back-to-back kills by Harter and Simons evened the score at 5-apiece, the third of 10 ties in the first set alone. Southern Illinois led 19-16 before the Skyhawks reeled off three unanswered points to even the score once again. The score was tied at 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23 but the Salukis pieced together two straight points to end the set.
Dallas Zimmerman and Keaton had five and four kills, respectively for UT Martin, who hit .243 in the first set. Crask tallied 13 assists while Simons registered seven digs for the Skyhawks.
UT Martin fell behind 5-1 in the second set, but the Skyhawks clawed back to get within 6-3. Southern Illinois then went on a 6-1 run to open up a 12-4 advantage. After UT Martin sliced their deficit to 16-10, the Salukis ended the set on a 9-1 run.
Southern Illinois led 4-1 in the third set but the Skyhawks pulled back within one at 6-5. A little later on, kills by Zimmerman, Harter and Keaton gave UT Martin an 11-10 edge. The set would be tied at 12-12 and 13-13 before the Salukis took a 17-14 lead. The Skyhawks would close their gap to two on four different occasions from that point on (17-15, 18-16, 20-18, 22-20) before Southern Illinois tallied three unanswered points to end the set.