MURRAY, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team received double-doubles from Emily Keaton and Amanda Crask this evening but dropped a 3-1 decision at Murray State (21-25, 25-23, 11-25, 20-25).
Keaton piled up 11 kills and 10 digs while Crask accumulated 35 assists and 12 digs for the Skyhawks (10-18, 6-8 OVC). Jackie Harter tied Keaton for the team-high in kills (11) tonight while Kasey Elswick (26 digs) and Chelsea Bowles (12 digs) led UT Martin defensively.
UT Martin trailed 3-1 in the first set before a kill by Taylor Simons and assisted block by Allie Whimpey and Dallas Zimmerman evened the score at 3-3. The Skyhawks were within one point (12-11) thanks to back-to-back kills by Whimpey but Murray State scored three straight points to go on top 15-11. However, UT Martin then pieced together five straight kills to take a 16-15 lead. The Racers quickly answered and led 19-16 but the Skyhawks bounced back and sliced their deficit to one at 22-21. Just when it seemed that momentum had switched in favor of UT Martin, Murray State tallied three straight points to round out the set.
The Skyhawk offense recorded 13 kills in the first set, while Elswick (10 digs) and Bowles (eight digs) paced the defense.
UT Martin put together a solid second set to even the match at 1-1. Neither team could build a lead by more than two points until midway through the set. The Skyhawks trailed 17-14 but back-to-back kills by Simons and Shelby Hoskins evened the score at 19-all. A kill by Harter tied the score at 23-23, igniting a stretch of three unanswered points by UT Martin to end the set, as a kill by Whimpey completed the Skyhawk comeback.
Simons slammed down four kills in the second set to lead UT Martin, while Elswick registered a dozen digs to pace the Skyhawk defense.
The Skyhawks fell behind 5-0 in the third set before Harter and Keaton pieced together back-to-back kills to get UT Martin back within striking distance. Murray State then went on a 4-0 run and eventually led 12-3 until Lynsey Hazelwood accounted for a kill to end the Skyhawk drought. Two straight kills by Keaton and Harter made the score 16-7 but the Racers soon went on top 20-7 on their way to a 2-1 lead.
Harter was responsible for three of the team’s nine kills in the third set.
Murray State accounted for five of the first seven points in the fourth set, but an assisted block by Hoskins and Crask cut UT Martin’s deficit to 7-5. The Racers then scored four straight points but the Skyhawks responded with a kill by Keaton, service ace by Crask and kill by Harter to make the score 11-8. Keaton and Hazelwood had back-to-back kills to help UT Martin stay within two and three straight attack errors by Murray State led to a 19-19 deadlock. After a Whimpey kill evened the score at 20-all, Murray State secured five straight points to wrap up the match.
Keaton registered four kills against no errors in seven swings (.571 attack percentage) to lead UT Martin offensively in the fourth set.
The Skyhawks return home for their final two matches of the regular season. UT Martin faces Southeast Missouri at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6 before hosting Jacksonville State on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.