EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team took the first set off SIU Edwardsville this afternoon and never looked back, scoring a 3-1 victory over the Cougars (25-14, 17-25, 25-21, 25-21) at the Vadalabene Center.
The Skyhawk offense featured a balanced attack – as six players slammed down at least six kills today. Emily Keaton hit .278 and led the team with 13 kills (against just three errors), while Lynsey Hazelwood racked up 10 kills and 16 digs for UT Martin. Amanda Crask also compiled a double-double with 38 assists and 10 digs.
Chelsea Bowles piled up a match-high 23 digs while Colleen Larson collected 10 digs and Alisha Erves turned away a match-high five blocks to lead the Skyhawks defensively.
In the first set, UT Martin held a 5-4 lead before unreeling a 10-1 run to go on top 15-5. The Cougars responded with seven of the next 10 points to pull within 18-12 before the Skyhawks used another big run to conclude the set. Erves had a kill and a solo block during a 7-2 UT Martin run to claim the 25-14 victory.
The second set was tied at 4-all before SIU Edwardsville scored five consecutive points to take a 9-4 advantage. A pair of kills by Keaton helped UT Martin claw back within three points (18-15) until the Cougars scored five unanswered points on their way to the 25-17 win.
SIU Edwardsville accounted for the first two points in the third set but the Skyhawks bounced back with a 15-4 run, led by kills by five different players. The Cougars would get back within four points at 18-14 before three straight Skyhawks points, capped off by a Devinney kill. SIU Edwardsville used a small run to make the score 22-20 before UT Martin was responsible for three of the last four points, with Crask slamming down a pair of kills in that span.
Keaton (five kills), Crask (11 assists) and Bowles (seven digs) guided the Skyhawks to the win in the third set.
Hazelwood helped UT Martin get off to a quick start in the fourth set, compiling a pair of kills early to give the Skyhawks a 5-2 advantage. SIU Edwardsville would tie the set at 5-all but UT Martin would soon take a three-point lead (11-8) courtesy of a Keaton kill. After the Cougars tied the score at 14-14, the Skyhawks scored three straight points to go back on top. A Keaton service ace pushed UT Martin’s lead out to 23-19 and after the Cougars scored two straight points, Hazelwood put an end to the match with back-to-back kills.
Hazelwood had six kills and six digs in the fourth set alone while Crask handed out 13 assists for the Skyhawks.
UT Martin returns home for the final time this season next weekend when it hosts Austin Peay on Friday, Nov. 8 and Murray State on Saturday, Nov. 9.