October 21, 2016

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MOREHEAD, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team came out on a mission tonight at Morehead State, making short work of its Ohio Valley Conference rival with a 3-0 sweep (26-24, 27-25, 25-22) at Wetherby Gym.

Madison Wessling accounted for a match-high 12 kills for the UT Martin offense, who hit .239 as a team. Kelly Lean directed an efficient offense with 36 assists while Colleen Larson headed the defense with a match-best 14 digs for the Skyhawks (7-17, 3-6 OVC).

UT Martin jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first set before back-to-back kills by Macy Reigelsperger and Wessling ignited a 5-1 Skyhawk run to make the score 11-7 in favor of UT Martin. An Eagle attack error provided the Skyhawks with a 16-12 advantage but Morehead State clawed back to tie the set at 16-all. The Eagles eventually claimed a 21-20 lead but a service ace by Alisha Erves gave UT Martin set point at 24-22. Morehead State would score each of the next two points before the Eagles tallied a service error and an attack error to give the Skyhawks a 1-0 edge.

Wessling had five of UT Martin’s 14 kills in the opening set while Lean registered team-highs of 12 assists and five digs.

The Skyhawks opened the second set on an 8-3 run, as Erves racked up a pair of service aces during a 5-0 UT Martin spurt. Morehead State bounced back to tie the set at 10-10 but a Wessling kill and Larson service ace tilted the score back in favor of the Skyhawks. The Eagles reeled off three unanswered points to claim an 18-16 lead but Jemima Idemudia responded with a kill and a solo block for another tie at 18-all. Morehead State retook the lead and was responsible for set point (24-23) moments later, but UT Martin ended the set by scoring four of the final five points. Kills by Hayley Gray and Idemudia capped off the Skyhawk comeback and provided UT Martin with a 2-0 advantage.

The Skyhawk defense excelled in the second set, limiting Morehead State to a .097 attack percentage. Larson had nearly half (five) of the team’s dozen digs in the stanza.

Morehead State was responsible for four of the first six points in the third set but a pair of early Idemudia kills brought UT Martin back within a single point at 6-5. The Eagles expanded their lead out to 14-9 but Wessling soon dialed up a pair of kills to slice the Skyhawk deficit to three points at 17-14. Morehead State scored the next two points but UT Martin did not hang its heads, as the Skyhawks turned a five-point hole into an 8-2 run to take a late 22-21 advantage. After the Eagles tied the score at 22-all, UT Martin closed out strong with three unanswered points, bookended by Idemudia and Wessling kills.

Idemudia, Gray and Wessling each had four kills apiece while Lean dished out 15 assists in the final set.

The Skyhawks will look to keep rolling tomorrow (Oct. 22) when they travel to Eastern Kentucky. First serve is set for 11 a.m. CST.