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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team returns to the road this weekend when it takes on Ohio Valley Conference West rivals Eastern Illinois on Friday, Nov. 1 (7 p.m.) and SIU Edwardsville on Saturday, Nov. 2 (2 p.m.).
The Skyhawks (8-18, 2-8 OVC) will look to make a move towards qualifying for the OVC Tournament this weekend, as UT Martin is currently three games out of the postseason picture with six regular-season matches remaining. There are currently four teams who are 5-5 in league play that occupy the fifth through eighth place slots, one of whom is SIU Edwardsville.
UT Martin has faced both of its weekend opponents once this season, earning a split at the end of September. The Skyhawks fell 3-0 to Eastern Illinois (22-25, 21-25, 14-25) and defeated SIU Edwardsville by a 3-1 margin (25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 25-19) at home.
In the match against Eastern Illinois on Sept. 28, Emily Keaton led the Skyhawks with a match-high 11 kills while Amanda Crask (33 assists) and Chelsea Bowles (15 digs) also registered match-highs in their respective categories.
One day earlier, UT Martin had turned away SIU Edwardsville behind Keaton’s match-high 15 kills to go along with a team-best 17 digs. Keaton hit a sizzling .433 (just two errors on 30 attempts) while Allie Whimpey and Shelby Hoskins each cracked double-figures in the kill column with 13 and 11, respectively. Bowles (15 digs) and Hoskins (match-high five blocks) paced the Skyhawk defense.
Eastern Illinois (13-10, 7-3 OVC) enter the weekend ranked first in the OVC West after it has won four consecutive matches. The Panthers rank as the top offensive team in the league as they lead the OVC in hitting percentage (.225), kills (13.96 per set) and assists (12.98 per set).
Eastern Illinois’ Stephanie Arnold and Marah Bradbury were each recognized by the OVC on Monday. Arnold was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week after recording 28 kills, 10 blocks and a .471 hitting percentage last week, including an .810 hitting percentage against Murray State. Bradbury handed out 101 assists and notched a pair of double-doubles last week in road victories over Murray State and Austin Peay.
SIU Edwardsville (9-14, 5-5 OVC) split a pair of road matches last weekend, defeating Austin Peay 3-0 before losing to Murray State 3-0.
Chelsea Colclasure earned OVC Defensive Player of the Week accolades on Monday after averaging 6.17 digs per set in two matches last week. She currently leads the league with 484 digs (5.44 per set).
Cori Harris (253 kills, 2.84 per set) and Kelsey Augustine (222 kills, 2.49 per set) lead the Cougar offense while Mallory Mangun averages 9.21 assists per set.
Both of these matches will be featured on the OVC Digital Network live and free of charge. Those links - as well as links for live stats for both matches - are located at the top of the webpage.