Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO Volleyball sweeps UT Martin in three sets

Friday, October 6, 2023
SEMO freshman outside hitter Lucy Arndt (2) and graduate student middle blocker Talia Gouard (8) go up for a block, while redshirt senior rightside hitter Kaelyn O’Brien watches against UT-Martin on October 6th at Houck Field House. The Redhawks would win the match in three straight sets.
Photo by Nathan Gladden

SEMO volleyball defeated the UT Martin Skyhawks on October 6th in three consecutive sets.

Senior outside hitter Kayla Closset said the Redhawks victory was about playing together and trusting in the work they put in during practice.

“Overall we played really together. I think we came out really just believing in what we do in practice every single day and just coming out ready to win,” Closset said.

The Redhawks cruised through the first set winning 25-14, after scoring 12 of the last 16 points in the set.

The Skyhawks made the second set more competitive, as the SEMO never led by more than two points until the end of the match, when senior setter Izzy Lukens helped assist the Redhawks on a 3-0 run to close the door on UT Martin.

Lukens finished the match with 31 total assists, to go along with five digs and two kills.

The redhawks controlled most of the third set leading 22-14, before UT-Martin scored four consecutive points, forcing the Redhawks to call a late timeout. Head coach Julie Yankus said struggles with passing is what caused SEMO’s late game struggles.

“We obviously had a nice lead and we just couldn't get a pass,” Yankus said. “We moved people around a little bit because we couldn't get that first contact, and then we wound up getting a better pass.”

The victory marked the 199th for coach Yankus, putting her one away from her 200th win.

The Redhawks will face UT Martin again tomorrow, October 7th, at 2 pm at Houck Field House. Lukens said the Redhawks will need to be aggressive to once again earn a victory tomorrow and for the rest of the season.

“I think staying aggressive the entire game is gonna help us in the long run even all season, not just the game tomorrow. We just have to control what's on our side and we'll get it done,” Lukens said.