HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall volleyball came back from being down two sets to Miami (OH) and swept the final three sets to keep the Thunder Invitational championship title in Huntington, W.Va. on Saturday evening. The Herd defeated the RedHawks 3-2 (28-30, 22-25, 25-22, 15-10).
Marshall jumped to 3-0 for the season, while Miami (OH) dropped to 1-2.
Katy Schad earned tournament MVP after finishing the weekend with 50 kills, 44 digs and three double-doubles. Schad contributed 11 kills and 16 digs in the victory over the RedHawks.
Freshman Lauren Legge and junior Sacha Byous-McConnell earned All-Tournament selections as well. Legge recorded 39 kills and four blocks in her Marshall debut. The Pliny, W.Va. native led the Herd in the Miami (OH) victory, tallying 17 kills and a .343 attack percentage.
Byous-McConnell followed with 31 kills, a .345 attack percentage, and seven blocks in the first three games of the season. She finished the Miami (OH) match with 15 kills and a .400 attack percentage, while tallying two blocks.
Freshman Jillian Shemanski had a huge impact in the front court during the Marshall against Miami (OH) match, tallying seven kills (4 solo, 3 assists). She finished the weekend with a team-high 13 blocks.
Despite not being able to play the first two games of the tournament due to illness, Laura Der fought through ailment and still registered 12 kills and a team-high 19 digs for her first double-double. Setter Sammie Bane also finished with a double-double, putting up 53 assists and 10 digs.
The RedHawks established an early lead, using a combined 36 kills to take a 2-0 lead over the Herd. In the first set, Marshall survived five different Miami (OH) set point opportunities but was unable to finish as the RedHawks won the set 30-28.
After losing the second set 25-22, the Herd came back from the break and used a six kill, five dig performance from Der to win the third set 25-20.
The freshman duo of Legge and Shemanski helped take the fourth set victory. Shemanksi had two crucial solo blocks and two kills, while Legge dominated with her swing, putting down six kills and finishing the set with a .600 attack percentage.
The Herd defense helped Marshall prevail in the deciding set, as the Herd combined for two block solos and four block assists. The defensive effort also limited Miami (OH) to six kills and a negative hitting percentage. Byous-McConnell had four kills in the set and two of the final three points to give Marshall the undefeated 3-0 record for the season.
Marshall travels to Louisville, Ky. for their next three matches in the Louisville Tournament. The Herd will face off against Samford, Duke, and Louisville in the two-day event.