August 31, 2017

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CONWAY, Ark. – A near flawless fifth set performance by the University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team lifted the Skyhawks to a 3-2 triumph over Louisiana Tech (21-25, 25-21, 26-24, 21-25, 15-9) at the Farris Center this evening.

UT Martin’s offense posted 10 kills with zero errors in the final set, hitting .476 in 21 swings. The Skyhawks sided out at 89 percent in the fifth set to break the 2-2 tie and even their record at 2-2 on the season.

Macy Reigelsperger accumulated the fifth double-double in her UT Martin career tonight, dialing up a team-high 17 kills to go along with 16 digs. Kenzie Hinshaw (match-high 48 assists, 12 digs) and Megan Fair (14 kills, 13 digs) also accounted for double-doubles while Brooke Gyori achieved a career-best 29 digs. Jemima Idemudia (13 kills, team-high six blocks) and Justine Walker (career-high 10 kills) were responsible for double-digits in the kill column as well for the Skyhawks.

Louisiana Tech (1-4) raced out to a 4-2 lead in the first set but UT Martin went on a 6-0 run to claim an 8-4 advantage. Reigelsperger had a pair of kills and an assisted block during the Skyhawk run. The Lady Techsters came back to score five unanswered points and take a 11-9 lead but back-to-back kills by Walker moments later helped UT Martin pull within one point at 15-14. Louisiana Tech then pulled away with another 5-0 run and the Skyhawks would not get within three points the rest of the way.

Kelly Lean totaled team-highs in assists (five) and digs (five) in the opening set for UT Martin.

A 6-0 Skyhawk spurt turned a 5-3 deficit into a 9-5 lead in the early phases of the second set. Hinshaw amassed an assist, a kill and a block assist during UT Martin’s six-point run. The Skyhawk advantage was trimmed to one point (15-14) but kills by Reigelsperger and Fair – sandwiched around a bad Louisiana Tech set – forced the Lady Techsters to call a timeout after the score was 19-15. Louisiana Tech battled back to even the score at 21-all but UT Martin scored the final four points of the set – two of which came via Walker kills.

Fair provided five of the 15 Skyhawk kills in the second set while Hinshaw (12 assists) and Gyori (seven digs) heavily contributed to UT Martin’s success.

Walker kept her momentum going in the third set, scoring two of the first four Skyhawk points. The score was knotted at 10-all but a 5-1 UT Martin run resulted in a 15-11 advantage. The Skyhawk lead expanded to five points at 21-16 but the Lady Techsters clawed back to force the eighth tie of the set at 24-all. Idemudia proceeded with a kill and Louisiana Tech followed with an attack error and UT Martin emerged with a 2-1 lead in the match.

Idemudia (six kills) and Hinshaw (13 assists) carried the Skyhawk offense while Fair’s five digs guided the defense in the third set.

Kills on back-to-back possessions by Reigelsperger aided UT Martin as the Skyhawks secured the first three points of the fourth set. UT Martin led 8-5 but the Lady Techsters soon grabbed a 15-12 lead thanks to a stretch where Louisiana Tech tallied seven of nine points. A Reigelsperger kill and Walker service ace whittled the Skyhawk deficit to 15-14 but the Lady Techsters answered with five straight points. Fair came away with four kills from that point forward but Louisiana Tech withstood a late UT Martin rally and forced a decisive fifth set.

Despite the setback, Gyori was dominant in the fourth set. The junior libero from Oregon, Ohio scooped up 15 digs in the fourth set alone as the Skyhawks piled up 29 digs as a team.

UT Martin never trailed in the fifth set, as Reigelsperger cranked up four kills during the Skyhawks’ first seven points. UT Martin led 4-0 but saw its advantage sliced to 8-6 before consecutive Fair kills boosted the Skyhawk lead to 10-6. Walker and Reigelsperger both chipped in with kills in the latter moments of the set to clinch the victory.

Reigelsperger hit .625 with five kills on eight attempts while Hinshaw divvied out nine assists for UT Martin in the final set.

The Skyhawks begin their participation in the UCA Invitational on Friday, Sept. 1. UT Martin battles in-state rival Memphis at 11 a.m. before taking on Little Rock at 4 p.m.

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