MARTIN, Tenn. † On an emotional Senior Night, the University of Tennessee at Martin volleyball squad put together perhaps one of its most dominant performances as it swept Tennessee State by scores of 25-16, 25-12, 25-22 at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.
The victory gives UT Martin an 11-7 record in Ohio Valley Conference play, which are the program’s most wins against league competition since it won a dozen matches in 2011. The Skyhawks (15-16 overall) clinched the No. 4 seed in the upcoming OVC Championship tournament, which will take place in Cape Girardeau, Mo. on Nov. 18-20.
Four-year seniors Addison Conley† Jessica Reynolds† Karen Scanlon and Logan Wallick – as well as graduate transfer Francela Ulatea – were all honored for their career accomplishments during a pregame ceremony. UT Martin then took care of business, not trailing one time during the entire match to complete a weekend sweep over the Tigers in short order.
Conley delivered a match-high 11 kills on a remarkable .450 hitting percentage (two errors in 20 swings) while Scanlon and Wallick each slammed down 10 kills apiece. Scanlon (11 digs) and Haeleigh Paulino (16 assists, 11 digs) contributed double-doubles while Dylan Mott managed 11 digs and a pair of service aces.
It was Conley who had the hot hand early as the London, Ohio native accumulated four kills during the Skyhawks’ first nine points. Addy Vaughn added a pair of kills during a 13-4 run that gave UT Martin a 19-8 advantage. The Tigers would not get any closer than seven points for the rest of the set as Reynolds came away with a kill on set point. Conley had five kills on seven swings in the opening set while Paulino managed eight digs and directed an offense that hit .316.
The second stanza began with a 9-2 Skyhawk run, fueled by three Scanlon kills during that stretch. After Tennessee State closed to within five points (13-8), UT Martin unreeled 12 of the final 16 points of the set. Scanlon was responsible for three kills during that lengthy run, which was capped off by a Ulate service ace on set point. Scanlon posted six kills in eight attempts in the second set as the Skyhawks combined for a .364 hitting percentage as a team.
The Skyhawks led by as many as eight points in the final set – racing out to a 14-6 lead that included kills from five different players (Wallick, Scanlon, Conley, Olivia Saunders, Vaughn). Moments later, Conley tallied back-to-back kills to keep UT Martin’s lead at eight points (21-13). The Tigers closed the gap to two points at 24-22 but the Skyhawks thwarted a potential rally as Vaughn rose high for a solo block on match point. Wallick and Scanlon guided UT Martin with four kills and six digs, respectively, in the third stanza.
The OVC Championship quarterfinals are set for Thursday, Nov. 18 as the Skyhawks are slotted in for a 3 pm matchup against No. 5 seed Murray State.