Marshall Stuns Maryland, 3-2

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Marshall volleyball knocked off Maryland Saturday afternoon in its last match of the Michigan Invitational, 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 16-14).

The Thundering Herd improved to 6-9 on the season while Maryland slipped to 8-4.

"We took another step in playing harder this weekend," coach Mitch Jacobs remarked. "Today's win was a big-time team victory. We started the match with our best offensive lineup and ended with a defensive minded lineup. Things came together and we made a couple more plays than Maryland did."

Earning Michigan Invitational All-Tournament honors for the Herd was freshman outside hitter Elyse Panick (Chicago), who tallied 16 kills with a .270 hitting percentage and 15 digs. She also collected seven total blocks, six assisted and one solo.

Recording a team-best 18 kills for Marshall was senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.), who also posted 16 digs and five service aces. Freshman middle blocker Ally Kiekover (Grand Rapids, Mich.) tallied 13 kills with a .357 hitting percentage and six block assists.

"Kiko (Kiekover) and Elyse (Panick) were typical and atypical freshmen in this match," Jacobs commented. "At times they missed assignments and at other times they basically carried the load. Dorothy (Rahal) and Der stepped up about midway through the second set and helped us to control the tempo on the court and it made a big difference."

Marshall started the match off well by taking the first three points of the set and jumped out to a 9-3 lead over the Terrapins. Maryland answered by rallying back to tie the set at 15 apiece and took its first lead at 18-17. The Terps ended the set by going on a 7-3 run to take the first set 25-20.

The Herd regained its momentum in the second set and took the first two points and battled with the Terps for every point. Marshall seemed to of been down-in-out of the set when it trailed 23-20 before it stormed back to take the final five points of the set to win 25-23.

In the third frame, the Herd came out sluggish and trailed the Terps 10-4. The Marshall squad rallied back to pull the set within one off of a service ace by Sarah Harper, 21-20. The Herd's comeback attempt fell short when an attack error by Der gave the set to Maryland 25-22.

The fourth set was tightly contested and the largest margin for either team was four. A big kill from Maryland's Adreene Elliott pulled them within one point at 22-21 before the Herd took three of the next five points to win the set 25-23.

Both teams rallied back-and-forth in the fifth set and could obviously tell neither team wanted to lose the match. Marshall jumped out to a 4-2 lead before the Terps scored the next two points to tie it at 4. The teams traded points and the largest margin for either team was two for the entire set. The final set was tied at 14 when huge kills from Kiekover and Der earned the victory for the Herd.

"I'm really proud how hard we played today," Jacobs said. "A lot of good things happened and you can feel good about things when you leave it all on the court."

Marshall will start Conference USA play on Sept. 27 when it travels to Florida Atlantic for a 7 p.m. showdown.

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