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VOLLEYBALL: Herd Douses Flames for First Win of 2014
“I’m very proud to see this group bounce back after last night’s tough loss,” head coach Mitch Jacobs said. “Getting a 3-0 win this morning definitely helps our confidence. We were able to get early leads in sets one and two and grind them out without letting go of the lead. For a young team, that can be quite challenging.”
“I was most proud that in set three, we were able to withstand a very strong emotional push by UIC and overtake their lead and push them to open the lead and close out the match,” Jacobs continued. “We had some great individual performances, but it was the team aspect area that made all the difference. As a team, we served and passed much tougher and that allowed our team to flow through good and bad times during the match. Now we have a short turnaround; put this win behind us and get ready for Virginia.”
Marshall attacked early, going up 10-4 and maintaining at least a six point advantage until some tough plays from UIC brought the Flames within one point at 17-16. The Herd continued to execute, holding the lead and picking up the first set with a 25-22 victory. Sophomore Elyse Panick (Chicago, Ill.) led the squad with 5 kills in the set.
With an 1-0 lead, the Flames came out to grab the first point of the second set. Marshall then rallied to take a five point advantage and built on for a 17-10 lead. The Herd rallied to pick up six of the next seven points and go up 23-11. Junior outside hitter Lauren Legge (Pliny, W.Va.) secured a second set 25-14 win with the final kill. Legge collected five kills and an assisted block during the set.
The Flames again came out with the lead, going up 3-0 before Marshall tied it up. Both teams remained within one point of each other or tied for the next several points until the Herd finally pulled ahead, first with a kill by sophomore outside hitter Cassie Weaver (Huntington, W.Va.) to give the Herd a two-point lead, and then junior Jillian Shemanski gave the Herd a four-point lead with a demanding kill.
An assisted block by Shemanski and Weaver set up the match point for Marshall, and sophomore Ally Kiekover (Grand Rapids, Mich.) slammed a kill to give the Herd the 25-18 victory and its first win on the young 2014 season.
Legge and Weaver led the squad with nine kills a piece, with Panick collecting eight and Kiekover recording five. Shemanski recorded two solo blocks and assisted in four more during the match in addition to her three kills.
Marshall will conclude the Thunder Invitational Saturday evening with a 7 p.m. showdown with Virginia, who picked up a win Friday evening versus UIC and faces Eastern Michigan this morning in the tournament.