The UT Martin beach volleyball team made short work of the opposition Thursday, breezing past Eastern Kentucky and Chattanooga to begin the inaugural OVC Championship.
Seeded third in the event, the Skyhawks did not drop a single matchup today in sweeps of No. 6 Eastern Kentucky and No. 2 Chattanooga. UT Martin will play for a spot on the OVC Championship finals Friday afternoon at 2:00 against No. 4 seed Austin Peay at the Skyhawk Beach Volleyball Complex.
Because of inclement weather earlier in the day, each match Thursday was played to decision in order to complete Day 1 of the three-day tournament. As a result, the same three UT Martin pairs went 2-0, as Baillie Kearns/Kambree Lucas (No. 5), Addison Conley/Jessica Reynolds (No. 4) and Haeleigh Paulino/Logan Wallick (No. 3) went undefeated.
In the first round against Eastern Kentucky, Conley and Reynolds got things started with a 21-17, 21-14 victory over Josie Schmitendorf and Mikayla Logan. Kearns and Lucas posted a 21-17, 21-14 triumph over Molly Roeder and Alexis Falcone before the match was clinched via a Paulino/Wallick 21-17, 21-16 win over Raegan Alexander/Molly Michalak.
Kayla Carrell and Karen Scanlon were on the verge of a victory at No. 2 (up 21-15, 20-12) before the match was truncated. At No. 1, Lucy Kaufman and Hannah Phillips were ahead by a 21-13, 18-8 margin when the match was called.
Facing Chattanooga in the quarterfinals, Kearns and Lucas collected a 21-15, 21-19 win over Madelina Myers-Osband/Makenzie Jordan. The Skyhawks extended their advantage out to 2-0 following a gritty 21-12, 16-21, 15-12 victory by Conley and Reynolds against Hanley Lomax/Abby Ashway. Paulino and Wallick then ran their season record out to 14-0 after a 21-18, 21-17 win over Victoria Cerino/Paige Gallentine.
Carrell and Scanlon won their opening set at No. 2 (21-11) and led 11-9 at the time of the clincher. Kaufman and Phillips were still embroiled in a battle in the first set at No. 1.