"DIG PINK" EVENT TO TAKE PLACE OVER TWO-GAME HOMESTAND FOR VOLLEYBALL TEAM THIS WEEKEND
October 24, 2012
MARTIN, Tenn. – For the fourth straight season, The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball squad will help the fight against breast cancer, as the Skyhawks host a pair of “Dig Pink” matches this weekend against Ohio Valley Conference rivals Eastern Illinois (7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26) and SIU Edwardsville (2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27).
Under head coach Darrin McClure, the Skyhawks have raised more than $6,500 over four seasons to raise awareness for breast cancer and Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Fans have had the opportunity to pledge a flat rate or a set amount of money for each dig the Skyhawks make during the matches. A donation bucket will also be passed around throughout the weekend and all proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Also during Friday night’s match against Eastern Illinois, a Halloween costume contest will take place. Fans are encouraged to dress up in their favorite costumes, with the winners earning food vouchers to Brandy’s Restaurant in Martin.
UT Martin (8-16, 4-6 OVC) is led on offense by Emily Keaton, who enters the weekend with a team-best 199 kills (2.37 per set). Lynsey Hazelwood (team-high 2.55 kills per set) has notched 27 service aces (0.36 per set), ranking in the second in the OVC in that category. Shelby Hoskins paces the Skyhawks in attack percentage (.216 in 385 attempts) while Amanda Crask leads the team with 649 assists (8.43 per set).
Defensively, Kasey Elswick (OVC-high 495 digs, 5.76 per set) became the OVC’s all-time digs leader last weekend at Morehead State. The senior out of Louisville, Ky. – who now has 2,458 career digs – will be recognized during Friday’s match against Eastern Illinois. Hoskins has tallied 65 blocks (0.82 per set) to lead UT Martin at the net.
The Skyhawks downed Eastern Illinois in Charleston by a 3-1 margin (20-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-21) on Sept. 22. In that match, UT Martin received double-doubles out of Hazelwood (12 kills, 10 digs) and Crask (31 assists, 10 digs), along with 11 kills from Keaton. On defense, Elswick registered 27 digs while Hoskins turned away eight blocks.
On Saturday, UT Martin will look to avenge a 3-0 loss at SIU Edwardsville (23-25, 20-25, 10-25) that took place on Sept. 21. The Skyhawks were led offensively by Hazelwood and Jackie Harter, who each tallied seven kills. Crask (26 assists) and Elswick (15 digs) also picked up team-highs for UT Martin.
Eastern Illinois (7-17, 4-6 OVC) has won three straight over OVC opponents but did fall 3-1 in nonconference action against Saint Louis (19-25, 25-22, 14-25, 22-25) on Tuesday evening.
Abby Saalfrank (221 kills, 2.46 per set) and Reynae Hutchinson (217 kills, 2.44 per set) pace the Panther offense. Stephanie Arnold ranks fourth in the OVC in attack percentage (.282) and Marah Bradbury (617 assists, 6.93 per set) is the reigning OVC Setter of the Week after handing out a career-best 56 assists against Austin Peay last Saturday.
Defensively, Kelsey Brooke and Alison Berens lead Eastern Illinois in digs (300, 3.33 per set) and blocks (77, 0.86 per set), respectively.
SIU Edwardsville enters the weekend with a 8-13 overall record with a 4-6 OVC mark. The Cougars snapped a four-match losing streak last Saturday with a 3-0 triumph over Murray State (25-19, 25-22, 25-18).
Emma Anderson (205 kills, 2.66 per set) and Kelsey Augustine (200 kills, 2.60 per set) lead SIU Edwardsville offensively. Kristen Torre (.277 hitting percentage, sixth in the OVC) and Sammi Minton (10.10 assists per set, third in the OVC) are also key pieces to the Cougars’ offensive attack.
On defense, the Cougars are led by Chelsea Colclasure (5.25 digs per set, second in the OVC) and Augustine (1.06 blocks per set, fifth-most in the OVC).