MARTIN, Tenn. – Senior libero Kasey Elswick tallied 25 digs this afternoon for The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team but the Skyhawks ultimately fell 3-0 to Austin Peay (23-25, 16-25, 21-25) in Ohio Valley Conference action.
Today’s performance was the 37th time in Elswick’s remarkable career that she has registered at least 25 digs in a match. The OVC leader in digs, Elswick now stands only 71 digs away from the league’s career record of 2,454 – held by Eastern Kentucky’s Britany Nobilio (2004-07).
Offensively, the Skyhawks were led today by sophomore Emily Keaton, who put down 11 kills. Setter Amanda Crask pitched in five kills, 23 assists and six digs for UT Martin (7-13, 3-3 OVC).
The Skyhawks led 4-2 in the first set but Austin Peay came back to take an 8-6 advantage. Back-to-back kills by Lynsey Hazelwood and Keaton resulted in an 11-10 lead for UT Martin, which began a flurry of ties (15) and lead changes (seven) in the set. The Skyhawks battled back from an 18-15 deficit to take a 21-19 lead. From that point on, the set was tied at 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23 before Austin Peay pieced together two straight point to end the set.
As a team, UT Martin hit .294 with 16 kills in the first set, led by six kills by Keaton. Crask accounted for 12 assists and Elswick recorded nine digs to lead the Skyhawks.
Austin Peay led 4-2 and 7-3 before Keaton slammed a kill to ignite a 3-1 run for UT Martin. The Skyhawks sliced their deficit to two at 11-9 but the Lady Govs soon extended their lead back out to 15-10. A late kill by Hazelwood got UT Martin within five (19-14) but Austin Peay ended the set on a 6-2 run.
UT Martin trailed 4-1 in the third set before clawing back to even the score at 6-all on a Shelby Hoskins kill. Austin Peay then answered with three straight points, but the Skyhawks battled back to tie the match at 10-10. The Lady Govs responded with another run – this time of the 6-1 variety to take a five-point lead. UT Martin got within three points at 16-13 but wouldn’t get that close again until a Keaton service ace made the score 24-21. However, Austin Peay answered with the next point to end the match.
Elswick’s 13 digs paced a 28-dig effort for UT Martin in the fifth set.
The Skyhawks will continue their four-match homestand next weekend when they host Tennessee State at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 and OVC newcomer Belmont at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.