Southeast keeps UT-Martin in cellar

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Redhawks won in three games to drop the Skyhawks to 0-8 in the OVC.

Southeast Missouri State volleyball coach Renata Nowacki emphasizes to her players that they should treat all opponents with a proper amount of respect.

So, even if a team is floundering at the bottom of the Ohio Valley Conference standings, the Redhawks look at that squad as if it's the best in the league.

"We prepare for each team the same way. We look at each team like they're in first place," Nowacki said. "We can't take anybody lightly in the OVC."

The Redhawks apparently received Nowacki's message loud and clear Saturday afternoon, as they kept Tennessee-Martin winless in conference play with a three-game victory.

Southeast, completing a weekend sweep of two OVC home matches, rolled past the Skyhawks 30-18, 30-27, 30-12 at Houck Field House.

The Redhawks, who on Friday defeated Murray State in three games, improved to 8-12 overall and 5-3 in OVC play as they solidified their hold on fifth place among 11 teams. UTM, in last place, fell to 2-24 overall and 0-8 in league play.

"I thought we played really good today," Southeast junior setter Jamie Baumstark said. "We came out with a big win over Murray State, and we wanted to come out and take care of this team.

"There have been a lot of surprises in the conference this year, and we can't really take any team lightly. Coach mentioned that they're at the bottom of the conference, and we wanted to keep them there."

Baumstark, who on Friday narrowly missed a triple double -- she had 45 assists, 12 kills and nine digs -- dished out 33 assists Saturday, to go along with three service aces.

Which such an abbreviated match, there weren't all that many kills to go around, but the Redhawks received at least eight from four players.

Junior Jessica Koeper, a Jackson High School product, led the way with 10 kills, and she added 10 digs.

Sophomores Brenna Schlader and Brittany Hastings both had nine kills, while freshman Katrina Niemeyer added eight.

Senior libero Lauren Scannell extended her long streak of matches with at least 10 digs, as she had 14. Scannell has 24 consecutive double-figure dig performances, dating to last season.

Senior Jill Miller added nine digs, while Schlader recorded six blocks.

"I thought we had good performances from a lot of different players," Nowacki said. "I thought we played well both matches. It was a very good weekend for us."

Southeast, which breezed in the first and third games, found its only trouble in the second game. The Skyhawks, trailing 25-20, rallied for a 25-25 tie, but the Redhawks scored five of the final seven points.

Rebecca Palmer led Tennessee-Martin with 12 kills.

Nowacki hopes the Redhawks, who had lost three straight matches entering the weekend, will receive a boost of confidence from these latest two victories.

"I hope so," she said. "Any time you can beat a team 30-12 in rally scoring, it has to help your confidence."

The Redhawks will have a nonconference home match Tuesday, facing Arkansas State at 7 p.m. The Indians beat Southeast in four games on Sept. 20 in Jonesboro, Ark.

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