EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team traveled to Evansville tonight for its final nonconference match of the season, falling 3-0 to the Purple Aces (17-25, 19-25, 22-25) at the Carson Center.
For the eighth time this season, freshman Lynsey Hazelwood cracked double-figures in kills – tallying a team-best 11 this evening. Taylor Simons (eight kills) and Amanda Crask (six kills, 30 assists, eight digs) also led the Skyhawk offense tonight. Defensively, Kasey Elswick piled up 20 digs to pace UT Martin (6-12).
Evansville jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set before a kill by Jackie Harter got UT Martin on the scoreboard. Two straight kills by Shelby Hoskins and Hazelwood pulled the Skyhawks within four at 7-3 but the Purple Aces would soon go on a 6-2 run to make the score 13-5. UT Martin trailed 20-10 but would score three of the next four points to slice its deficit to 21-13. The Skyhawks would get within seven three more times but that was as close as they would get the rest of the set.
Hazelwood accounted for four of UT Martin’s nine kills in the first set.
It was UT Martin who got off to a hot start in the second set, as the Skyhawks received kills from three different players to take a 4-1 lead. After Evansville tied the match at 4-all, back-to-back kills by Hoskins and Crask gave UT Martin the lead once again. The Purple Aces would eventually take their first lead of the set at 9-8, but the Skyhawks would quickly recover and tie the match three more times. With Evansville clinging to a 16-15 lead, the Purple Aces then scored four unanswered points on their way to a 24-16 lead. UT Martin would then tally three straight points to get within five before a service error ended the set.
Crask and Simons provided three kills each in the first set to pace the Skyhawks.
The Skyhawks used a 6-0 run – featuring three kills by Hazelwood – to take an 8-2 advantage in the third set. UT Martin held a five-point lead (12-7) before a lengthy Evansville run evened the score at 12-all. A Simons kill gave the Skyhawks a 13-12 lead but the Purple Aces answered with four straight points to go on top by a 16-13 margin. UT Martin would close within one point four more times (18-17, 19-19, 20-10, 21-20) but couldn’t tie or take a lead the rest of the set.
UT Martin generated 15 kills in the third set, led by Hazelwood (five) and Simons (four). Crask handed out 14 assists while Elswick tallied nine digs in the set.
The Skyhawks will begin a four-match homestand this weekend when they host Murray State (7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5) and Austin Peay (11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6).