VOLLEYBALL TEAM OPENS OVC SLATE THIS WEEKEND WITH A PAIR OF ROAD DATES
September 19, 2012
MARTIN, Tenn. – Winners of three of its last four matches, The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team will look to keep its momentum going this weekend when it opens Ohio Valley Conference action at SIU Edwardsville (Friday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.) and Eastern Illinois (Saturday, Sept. 22, 1 p.m.).
The Skyhawk offense has carried the team in the last two outings. Three days after setting a new season-best for attack percentage against Alabama State (.278), UT Martin notched season-highs with 57 kills, a .288 attack percentage, 53 assists and 14 service aces against Alabama A&M Tuesday night.
After they both recorded 17 kills in Tuesday night’s victory, Lynsey Hazelwood (106) and Emily Keaton (102) have each cracked triple-digits in the kill column this season for the Skyhawks. That duo also has 16 service aces apiece, helping UT Martin lead the OVC in that category (83, 1.69 per set).
Amanda Crask (306 assists) and Brandy Dennis (162) have shared time at setter and have both had big games so far in 2012. Crask has pieced together three double-doubles and has added 51 kills on a .218 attack percentage, while Dennis has boasted four matches of at least 36 assists – including a career-best 39 against Alabama A&M Tuesday night.
Defensively, Kasey Elswick ranks first in the OVC in digs (255, 5.67 per set), while Chelsea Bowles and Keaton each average 2.30 digs per set. At the net, Jackie Harter and Dallas Zimmerman lead the way with 30 blocks apiece for the Skyhawks.
SIU Edwardsville (4-7) has lost four of its last five, but boast the OVC leader in attack percentage (Kristen Torre, .367) and assists (Sammi Minton, 10.31 per set). Kelsey Augustine (108 kills), Emma Anderson (108) and Brooke Smith (103) have all surpassed the 100-kill mark to lead the Cougars offensively.
Chelsea Colclasure is second behind Elswick in the OVC in digs (5.05 per set), while Augustine’s 40 blocks set the tone for the SIU Edwardsville defensive attack.
Eastern Illinois (3-9) has lost four straight – two of which came against ranked opponents Michigan and Penn State – but boasts a quality non-conference victory over Wake Forest (3-1 on Sept. 7) on its nonconference resume.
Four Panthers lead a balanced offensive attack in Reynae Hutchinson (96 kills), Abby Saalfrank (96), Emily Franklin (90) and Alison Berens (90). Marah Bradbury and Saalfrank have split setter duties this season, handing out 234 and 187 assists, respectively.
Stephanie Wallace leads Eastern Illinois in digs (149, 3.55 per set), while Berens has blocked a team-high 35 attempts.