Herd Splits Day 1 at Saluki Invitational

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— Marshall volleyball fought hard Friday, but split the day. The Herd fell 3-1 to Kansas State but conquered IPFW 3-2 in the first day of the Saluki Invitational in Carbondale, Ill. Marshall improved to 4-5 on the season.


The Herd took the first set against the Wildcats 27-25, before Kansas State grabbed the next three 25-23, 27-25, 25-23 to take the match.


In the evening match with IPFW, Marshall took a 2-0 advantage (26-24, 25-23)  into the third game, before the Mastadons rallied back with scores of 25-18, 25-17.  Marshall took the match after a 19-17 final set battle.


Sophomore outside hitter Cassie Weaver (Huntington, W.Va.) turned in an 18 kill, 10 dig performance in the morning match, and recorded 10 kills and 22 digs against IPFW, bringing her total of double-doubles to five on the season, and three in a row. Senior  setter Sammie Bane (Brownstown, Ind.) collected 57 assists against K-State.


“The K-State match was well fought by both sides,” head coach Mitch Jacobs said. “We just need to execute one more time, and couldn’t quite get it done. We definitely took a step in the right direction with limiting our unforced errors, and I felt our floor defense was up to the task.”


“That was a big, physical team,” Jacobs continued, “and I thought we gave ourselves opportunities to get it done. We just need to take advantage.”


Jacobs continued, discussing the IPFW victory. 

"It was a sloppy, sloppy match, with both teams squandering big leads. I feel very fortunate to come out on top. I'm proud that our team never quit, and, in the end, played very hard throught some very tough runs by IPFW. We needed to play great defense, and I feel we did a good enough job that forced a lot of errors. We had to play great defensively, because our offense was atrocious."

"So sometimes, you just have to be happy it's in the left hand column and start preparing for SIU tomorrow," Jacobs finished. 



In the first set of the morning match, Marshall earned the first point on a kill from Bane. The biggest advantage of the game was four points, which Marshall held at a 12-9 score and K-State held at 22-18. The Herd climbed back from that deficit, picking up a point from a Wildcat miscue and then back-to-back service aces from Bane brought Marshall within one.


Following a K-State timeout, the Herd took the next two points, taking the lead at 23-22. The Wildcats tied the score before Marshall regained the lead off a hit from Weaver. The Wildcats tied the score once more, for what would be the 13th tie of the game, before Marshall secured the set with a 27-25 win. Weaver recorded six kills in the set.


The Wildcats responded in the second set, taking an early 5-0 lead. The Herd battled back, coming within two points at 14-12, but could not rally for the lead and fell in game 2 25-22. Weaver picked up another seven kills.


With the match even at one game apiece, both teams continued to battle in the third set remaining either tied or within two points of each other all match. The game saw a total of 14 tied scores and six lead changes as the Wildcats picked up the set 27-25.


With K-State with the 2-1 advantage, the Wildcats grabbed the first point of game 4. With Marshall down 7-4, the squad carried a four point rally, taking its first lead of the game at 8-7 and winning the three of the next four points. The score would remain close, with the biggest lead coming at 17-13 in favor of K-State. The Wildcats would end up taking the final set 25-23 and the match 3-1.



The Herd carried a five point lead at several times throughout the first set against IPFW, before the Mastadons crept back into the race, just one point behind Marshall at 23-22. A kill by Weaver added insurance and put the Herd at set point, but back-to-back points for IPFW brought the score at 24 all. Another kill by Weaver put the Herd back in front and helped secure the first set with a 26-24 win.


Carrying the momentum into game 2, Marshall picked up the first two points and increased its lead to 7-5 before the Mastadons took five straight points. IPFW continued to lead at 23-17 before the Herd went on an eight point run, picking up the second set 25-23. Weaver banged out back-to-back kills to secure the set.


Marshall fell in the next two sets after the Mastadons cut the advantage with games of 25-18 and 25-17 and forced a deciding set.


The Herd took the court determined, taking a 10-4 lead in the final stanza. IPFW stole the next five of seven points, and continued to threat, tying the set at 14 all.


A demanding kill from junior Lauren Legge (Pliny, W.Va.) put the Herd back on top at 16-15 before another Mastadon tie continued the battle. Errors by both Marshall and IPFW brought the tie back to 17 all, before the Herd picked up back-to-back kills to grab the 19-17 score and match victory.


Legge recorded eight kills in the match and had two block assists.



Marshall will face Southern Illinois to conclude the Saluki Invitational, Saturday at 2 p.m. The Salukis defeated IPFW 3-1 and face Kansas State Friday evening.

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