MARTIN, Tenn. – Tennessee-Martin posted a 3-1 victory against Tennessee State Friday afternoon at Wetherby Gym on the Morehead State campus and will advance to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship.
The Skyhawks will play the winner of the Morehead State – Southeast Missouri State match. The championship final is set for 5 p.m. CT at Wetherby Gym. The winner will advance to the NCAA tournament.
The last time the Skyhawks played for the OVC Championship was in 2002 when they defeated Southeast Missouri State and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
The third-seeded Skyhawks won the first two sets 25-22 and 25-21. TSU won the third set 25-20, but the Skyhawks won game four 25-18.
The Skyhawks defeated Tennessee State and OVC Player of the Year Shaquita Williams at the net where they had 15 total team blocks, the second most in a match this season. The Skyhawks also took advantage of 29 attack errors and 12 service errors.
Williams was one of three TSU players with double-digit kills in the match. She had 10, as did Terakka Walker. Rachel Ambroch led TSU with 12 kills.
UT Martin was led by senior Ashley Doherty with 15 kills and a .400 hitting percentage. Senior Kelly Hogan also hit .400 and recorded 12 kills in the match.
Senior Britany Wilburn had nine kills and hit .227 in the match. Wilburn record 10 block assists, one-third of the team’s 30. Hogan had five block assists, while Doherty, senior Jenna Miller and freshman Allie Whimpey had four each.
Miller hit .667 on six attempts and recorded 39 assists and seven digs.
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Junior Kasey Elswick, the OVC’s two-time Defensive Player of the Year led the Skyhawks with 13 digs, while freshman Emily Keaton recorded 12 digs and junior Meryl Loop had 11 digs.
In game four, the Skyhawks rushed out to a 20-10 lead only to see TSU claw its way back and cut the lead to seven points, 21-14. Doherty and Hogan sealed the victory with kills off assists from Miller.
Game three could have been called a game of errors as both teams combined for 12 miscues. UTM had eight kills, one more than it had errors, while TSU recorded 12 kills and five errors.
The score in the game was tied 13 times and the lead changed hands six times. TSU led 20-19 and went onto win the match 25-20.
The Skyhawks won game two, 25-21, at the net where they piled up four more team blocks. Wilburn had two block assists and six kills in the game. Doherty had five kills and hit .615. The Skyhawks had 16 kills and only two errors in the game, while TSU had 13 kills and nine errors.
UT Martin won the first game 25-22. Doherty had three kills and hit a scorching .600, while Hogan led the team with four kills in the game and hit .429. The difference in the game, UT Martin had three team blocks. Wilburn was credited with three block assists. Both teams had seven errors in the game. UT Martin out hit TSU, .147-.088.