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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team will look to gain ground in the Ohio Valley Conference standings this weekend with a pair of home dates against Tennessee State (Friday, Oct. 12) and league newcomer Belmont (Saturday, Oct. 13). First serve against Tennessee State is scheduled for 6 p.m., while the Skyhawks will battle Belmont at 2 p.m. Friday’s match against Tennessee State will be streamed live free of charge on the OVC Digital Network at the link above.
The Skyhawks (7-13, 3-3 OVC) boast an all-time record of 31-13 against Tennessee State, including a 16-4 mark at home. UT Martin also has fared well against Belmont, winning nine of the 15 meetings all-time.
UT Martin split the first two matches of its homestand last weekend, downing Murray State 3-1 before falling to Austin Peay 3-0. In those two matches, Emily Keaton and Lynsey Hazelwood each racked up 17 kills, while Amanda Crask piled up 56 assists to lead the Skyhawks offensively. Kasey Elswick registered 45 digs (6.43 per set) and Jackie Harter (12 blocks, 1.71 per set) paved the way for UT Martin’s defense.
On the season, Hazelwood’s 175 kills (2.69 per set) and 25 service aces (0.38 per set, second in the OVC) pace the Skyhawks. Keaton has tallied 155 kills (2.25 per set) while Crask leads the team with a .202 attack percentage and 527 assists (8.50 per set).
Elswick’s OVC-best 5.92 digs per set paces UT Martin defensively, followed by 2.35 digs per set out of freshman Chelsea Bowles. At the net, Harter (51 blocks, 0.75 per set) and Shelby Hoskins (50, 0.75) lead the way for the Skyhawks.
Tennessee State (9-9, 4-2 OVC) saw its three-game winning streak snapped last Saturday with a 3-1 home loss to Jacksonville State (24-26, 18-25, 25-15, 18-25). Naomi Wells (15 kills, 15 digs) and Rachel Ambroch (10 kills, 16 digs) each notched double-doubles for the Tigers.
Wells ranks third in the OVC in kills (3.66 per set), while Rachel Ambroch averages 2.84 kills per set and boasts a .237 attack percentage for Tennessee State. Setter Erika Moss leads the Tigers with a .312 hitting percentage and 9.41 assists per set.
Britani Hathorn paces the Tigers with 247 digs (3.86 per set), while Lindsay Hornsby’s 35 blocks (0.55 per set) are a team-high.
Belmont, who officially joined the OVC in July 2012, enters the weekend with an 8-12 mark and a 4-2 OVC record. The Bruins have swept three straight OVC opponents (SIU Edwardsville, Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech) heading into the midway point of the league schedule.
Scarlet Gable is the only Bruin to have started all 20 matches this season, leading Belmont with 162 kills (2.42 per set). Hannah Miranda is the reigning OVC Setter of the Week, handing out 9.67 assists per set on the season (fourth in the league).
Defensively, Jamie Lundstrom ranks third in the league in digs at 5.12 per set. Alex Martin has turned away 47 blocks (0.78 per set) to lead the Bruins.