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Youth served up in Skyhawk win

Youth served up in Skyhawk win

Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 12:03 pm

Allie Whimpey looked around and saw herself surrounded by her freshmen teammates on the volleyball court Tuesday night as the University of Tennessee at Martin hosted Tennessee Tech in a key Ohio Valley Conference match in Skyhawk Fieldhouse.
“I knew I had to step up and let my setter know I was a good option,” Whimpey said. The 6-0 freshman from Cary, Ill., had 13 kills, a .393 hitting percentage and led UT Martin to a 3-1 victory over Tennessee Tech.
With the victory, UT Martin holds on to second place in the OVC standings and improves to 14-8 on the year and 9-3 in the league. Tech falls to 3-19 and 2-10 in the OVC.
UT Martin head coach Darrin McClure said he wanted to use the match against Tech to get some experience for his freshman setter Brandy Dennis, a 5-10 freshman from Grove City, Ohio.
Dennis responded with a career-best 37 assists and a .375 hitting percentage.
In addition to Whimpey, Dennis’ other option was freshman Emily Keaton, who recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 12 digs.
“I was glad to see the way our younger players responded tonight,” McClure said. “This was a pressure-filled match.”
The Skyhawks sealed their victory by dominating the fourth set. The home team jumped out front 3-1 and then exchanged points with Tech, before pulling away 15-10 and finally winning the set 25-20.
The Skyhawks claimed the third set 26-24. Freshman Jackie Harter led the team with a .667 hitting percentage and a pair of kills. The set was tied at 23-23 and 24-24, before UT Martin forged ahead, 25-24, with a block by Dennis and Doherty. The Skyhawks won the match with a block by Doherty and Hogan.
Hogan, a junior from St. Charles, Ill., finished the match with 14 kills, tying her season-best.
With four freshmen on the court, the Skyhawks salvaged a 25-23 victory in the second set. Keaton, one of those freshmen, led the team with five kills. Whimpey had four kills and hit .429. Dennis had 13 assists in the set.
Whimpey led the Skyhawks with .600 hitting in the first set, but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee Tech out-hit the Skyhawks .250-.083. Hogan led the Skyhawks with four kills.
“This was a good win for us considering the way we played defense,” McClure said. “We played just good enough to win.”
The Skyhawks will return to action Friday night when they host Morehead State in Skyhawk Fieldhouse. The first serve is set for 6 p.m. The Skyhawks will also host Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. Action gets under way at 2 p.m. Published in The WCP 10.20.11

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