October 28, 2016

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team ran into a buzzsaw tonight as Austin Peay handed the Skyhawks a 3-0 loss (18-25, 22-25, 18-25) in Ohio Valley Conference action at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.

Kelly Lean led UT Martin with seven kills and 19 assists while also adding four digs. Madison Wessling piled up a team-best nine digs for the Skyhawks, who are now 7-19 overall with a 3-9 OVC record.

UT Martin jumped out to a 2-0 lead but Austin Peay (20-8, 9-2 OVC) responded with four unanswered points. Kills by Alisha Erves and Wessling – sandwiched around a Governor attack error – reclaimed the lead for the Skyhawks at 7-6. A pair of Hayley Gray kills helped UT Martin expand its advantage out to two points but five ties ensued. Erves came away with another kill to even the score at 16-all but the Governors answered with two straight points. The Skyhawks narrowly trailed by a 19-18 margin before Austin Peay wrapped up the set on a 6-0 run.

Five different UT Martin players had a kill in the opening set but the Skyhawks could only muster a .100 attack percentage as a team.

The Governors took a 3-1 lead in the second set but UT Martin pieced together four straight points, bookended by a solo block and a kill by Wessling. Another Wessling kill propelled the Skyhawks to an 8-4 advantage and moments later, a kill by Hannah Phillips kept UT Martin’s lead at four points (13-9). However, the Governors soon went on a 5-0 run to go ahead by a score of 17-15. The Skyhawks battled back to even the set at 21-all but Austin Peay accounted for four of the last five points.

Lean had four kills in as many swings while compiling six assists to lead UT Martin in the second set.

Austin Peay started the final set on an 8-0 run before Macy Reigelsperger got the Skyhawks on the scoreboard with a kill. A Lean kill trimmed UT Martin’s deficit to six points at 10-4 but the Governors would eventually extend their lead out to 16-7. Kills by Rachel Noffsinger and Wessling helped the Skyhawks nudge back within six points (18-12) but UT Martin would not get any closer than that the rest of the way.

Wessling was responsible for team-highs of three kills and six digs in the third set.

The Skyhawks conclude their “Dig Pink” weekend on Saturday, Oct. 29 when they host current OVC leader Murray State. First serve from Skyhawk Fieldhouse is scheduled for 11 a.m.

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