SKYHAWK VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN BACK-AND-FORTH FOUR SET AFFAIR AT SIUE
October 6, 2017
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team claimed the second set this evening but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as the host SIUE Cougars accounted for a 3-1 win (25-19, 19-25, 25-23, 25-20) at the Vadalabene Center.
Jemima Idemudia continued her strong play with match-highs of 14 kills (on a .312 hitting percentage) and seven blocks. The senior from Glendale, Ariz. also added a career-high six digs for the Skyhawks (9-9, 3-2 Ohio Valley Conference).
Megan Fair earned her sixth double-double of the season tonight, piling up 13 kills and 16 digs. Hannah Phillips (10 kills against just two errors), Kelly Lean (22 assists), Kenzie Hinshaw (20 assists) and Brooke Gyori (16 digs) also led UT Martin this evening.
Idemudia and Reigelsperger helped get the Skyhawks off to a good start in the first set, as the senior duo combined for UT Martin’s first six kills. A kill by Fair gave the Skyhawks their first lead of the set at 7-6 but the Cougars soon came back to take a 13-9 advantage. Two more Idemudia kills and a Phillips kill evened the score at 17-all but SIUE was able to conclude the set on an 8-2 run.
UT Martin was paced by Idemudia’s six kills on a .400 attack percentage in the opening stanza.
The Skyhawks jumped out to an 8-3 advantage in the second set, thanks in large part to the play of Idemudia (two kills, three blocks). A Reigelsperger service ace expanded UT Martin’s lead out to 14-6, forcing SIUE to take a timeout. Fair soon added four kills in the span of seven points while a Hinshaw kill opened up a double-digit lead for the Skyhawks at 22-12. The Cougars managed seven of the next nine points but Phillips halted the SIUE momentum with a kill that closed out the set and evened the match at 1-all.
Fair was on fire in the second set, dialing up seven kills with no errors in eight swings for an .875 hitting percentage.
Although the third set featured 11 tie scores, UT Martin led for a majority of the stanza. Fair ignited the charge with back-to-back kills to begin the set while Justine Walker soon added three kills in a row to help the Skyhawks take an 8-6 lead. UT Martin could not extend its lead beyond two points as five ties followed before the Cougars scored three unanswered points for a 21-19 advantage. The Skyhawks clawed back to even the score at 23-all after a Jamie Rys kill but SIUE secured the final two points of the set.
Walker (six kills) and Fair (six digs) guided UT Martin in the third set.
Idemudia began the fourth set with a pair of kills as the Skyhawks claimed a 6-4 lead. The Cougars tilted the score back in their favor at 10-9 and eventually took a 15-12 advantage before yet another Idemudia kill took place. Rally killers by Hinshaw and Phillips on back-to-back possessions pulled UT Martin within a single point at 17-16 but SIUE responded with three straight points. The Skyhawks were able to trim their deficit to two points on three different occasions from that point forward but the Cougars scored the final three points in the set.
Fair was responsible for seven of UT Martin’s 21 digs in the fourth set.
The Skyhawks continue their brief swing through the Land of Lincoln on Saturday, Oct. 7 when they visit Eastern Illinois at 2 p.m.