SKYHAWK VOLLEYBALL CLOSES OUT NONCONFERENCE SCHEDULE AT MEMPHIS INVITATIONAL
MARTIN, Tenn. – After taking two of three matches at last weekend’s Evansville tournament, the University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball team looks to stay hot when it competes in the Memphis Invitational on Sept. 15-16.
On Friday, the Skyhawks will clash with Nicholls at noon before taking on Louisiana-Monroe at 7 p.m. UT Martin concludes the tournament with a matchup against host Memphis at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The Skyhawks come into the tournament with a 4-6 overall record but played some of its best volleyball of the season last weekend at the Dunn Hospitality Invitational. The UT Martin offense hit .233 for the week, slamming down 138 kills with just 59 errors in 339 swings. Meanwhile, the Skyhawk defense scooped up 150 digs and turned away 25 blocks in 10 sets to help UT Martin power its way to second place in the four-team tournament.
Jemima Idemudia and Brooke Gyori were each named to the all-tournament team at Evansville. Idemudia hit above .300 in all three matches, leading the team in kills (31, 3.10 per set), attack percentage (.328) and blocks (13, 1.30 per set). Gyori picked up her second straight all-tournament accolade after accumulating a team-high 38 digs (3.80 per set) as she has now tallied double-digit digs in nine consecutive matches.
On the season, Idemudia ranks in the top-10 in the Ohio Valley Conference in three different statistical categories: points (3.43 per set, seventh); kills (2.86 per set, ninth) and attack percentage (.266, ninth). Gyori’s 4.29 digs per set average ranks sixth in the league while Kenzie Hinshaw (7.06 assists per set, eighth) and Megan Fair (2.86 kills per set, ninth) each rank in the league’s top-10 in their respective categories.
Nicholls enters the weekend with a 2-8 overall record with both wins coming against Mississippi Valley State. Stephanie Tobison (83 kills), Imamie Williams (2.72 kills per set) and Emily Weimer (.272 attack percentage) pave the way for the Colonel offense while the Nicholls defense is headed by Emily Venable’s 139 digs (4.09 per set) and Sydney Lerille’s 15 blocks (0.44 per set).
Each of Louisiana-Monroe’s three wins on the season have come in the last week but the Warhawks are 0-2 against OVC schools (lost 3-0 to both Murray State and Jacksonville State) in 2017. Mikaela Worley (2.20 kills per set), Jennifer McClendon (.216 hitting percentage), Kacey LeBlanc (3.95 digs per set) and Catherine Griffith (0.71 blocks per set) guide a Louisiana-Monroe (3-10) squad who ranks 13th nationally with 69 service aces.
Memphis carries a 4-5 record into its host tournament but has won four of its last six decisions. The Skyhawks will be looking to avenge a three-set loss to the Tigers (26-28, 16-25, 26-28) as part of the UCA Invitational on Sept. 1. Tai Bierria (11 kills against UT Martin earlier this season) ranks first on the team with a 2.90 kills per set average. Alyssa Kronberg (4.76 digs per set) and Brianna Kadiku (0.94 blocks per set) lead the Memphis defensive attack.
Saturday’s match against Memphis will be streamed live at the link above. Links for live stats from all three matches can also be found at the top of the webpage.