CONWAY, Ark. – Playing its fourth match in three days, the University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball squad rounded out the UCA Invitational with a 3-0 setback to host Central Arkansas (17-25, 21-25, 12-25) this afternoon.
At the conclusion of the match, junior libero Brooke Gyori was honored as one of six members of the all-tournament team. The transfer from Owens Community College piled up 51 digs (5.10 per set) while adding a team-high three service aces in the Skyhawks’ three UCA Invitational matches.
Gyori compiled a match-high 12 digs today against Central Arkansas for UT Martin. Offensively, the Skyhawks were led by Megan Fair (nine kills), Jemima Idemudia (eight kills, .438 attack percentage) and Kelly Lean (season-best 20 assists). Jamie Rys also added six kills and tied a career-high with nine digs for the second straight match for UT Martin (2-5).
Central Arkansas (6-0) led 5-2 in the opening set but a Justine Walker kill and a Sugar Bear attack error on consecutive possessions evened the set at 8-all. Central Arkansas then claimed nine of the next 11 points before a Rys kill and two straight Sugar Bear attack errors pulled the Skyhawks within four points at 17-13. However, UT Martin would not get any closer than four points for the rest of the set.
Kenzie Hinshaw produced a team-high seven assists for the Skyhawks in the first set.
Fair and Rys kicked off the second set with back-to-back kills but UT Martin’s lead diminished after Central Arkansas scored the next four points. Fair recorded two kills in the span of three points for the Skyhawks to cap off a 6-3 run and make the score 9-9 in the process. The score was knotted at 13-all until the Sugar Bears used a 6-1 run to go ahead by five points. UT Martin answered right back with four unanswered points – two via Fair kills – to trail by a slim 19-18 margin before Central Arkansas accounted for the next three points on their way to the 2-0 match advantage.
Fair (six of the 14 Skyhawk kills), Lean (13 assists) and Gyori (eight digs) stood out for UT Martin in the second set.
The Skyhawks took a 3-1 advantage to begin the third set but the Sugar Bears accumulated five of the next six points. Kills by Hayley Gray and Jemima Idemudia kept UT Martin’s deficit to just one point at 7-6 before Central Arkansas scored seven unanswered as part of a 10-1 run. The Skyhawks responded with three straight points thanks to a Walker kill, Rys kill and Fair service ace but the Sugar Bears closed out the set on a 7-1 run.
Lean assisted on seven of UT Martin’s eight kills in the third set but could not find an answer for a Central Arkansas offense that hit .379 with 14 kills.
The Skyhawks will take part in their third nonconference tournament of the season next weekend when they make the short trip to Evansville, Ind. for the Dunn Hospitality Invitational. UT Martin will take on UAB on Friday, Sept. 8 before facing Indiana and Evansville on Saturday, Sept. 9.