HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall started the Kent State Mizuno Tournament by flying past Saint Francis (PA) in the first match of the invitational. The Herd swept by the Red Flash 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-15).
Marshall improved to 5-4 and has now won the past two matches straight. St. Francis dropped to 3-5 with the defeat.
The Thundering Herd was led by Laura Der with 13 kills. She was one dig shy of her fifth double-double, recording nine digs. The junior outside hitter opened up the match with nine kills and a .444 hitting percentage in the first set alone.
"Laura Der was very strong," said head coach Mitch Jacobs. "Our block was as good as it's been all season too."
The Marshall defense posted 7.0 total blocks compared to the Red Flash's 1.0. Freshman middle blocker Jillian Shemanski helped the team with five block assists. She also posted five kills and a .556 hitting percentage on offense.
Sophomore Katie Potts set a career-high with four block assists during the match. Potts added six kills at the net as well.
The defense also contributed 45 digs and was anchored by libero Dorothy Rahal with 17. The Herd defense forced St. Francis to 21 errors and a .056 hitting percentage.
"We played outstanding floor defense tonight led by Dorothy," continued Mitch Jacobs. "I also felt that Sammie Bane set a very intelligent match. It was a good start to the tournament; however we have two very tough back-to-back matches tomorrow."
Bane recorded 28 assists, giving her a season total of 301. She finished the match with a season-high .406 assist percentage.
Marshall will face Kent State and Liberty in the final day of the Kent State Mizuno tournament tomorrow. The Herd starts with Liberty at 1 p.m. and close with Kent State at 5 p.m.