Sept. 8, 2017
Box Score (PDF)
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall volleyball team swept Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opposition Virginia Tech in three sets (25-21, 29-27, 25-21) to begin the Thunder Invite in the Cam Henderson Center.
"Nothing was easy out there today," head coach Mitch Jacobs said. "There's a reason why Virginia Tech was 5-1 coming in, there's a reason why their only loss was in five [sets]. They battle, they make you win points, and they don't hit balls out of bounds. I thought the difference in the match was the service game. I thought our service game was real tough. It helped our block and it helped our defense set up."
The Thundering Herd (3-6) won three closely competitive sets, but dominated statistically. Marshall led in key statistical categories such as kills (49-38), hitting percentage (.327-.253), blocks (6-4) and service aces (5-2).
Marshall was led by sophomore Jac'cara Walker on offense with 13 kills and four aces. The Gainesville, Fla., native was second on the team in digs with eight. Sophomore Madelyn Cole dished out 36 assists, while holding a team-best nine digs and four blocks. Cole also added eight kills, while sophomore Madison Hill and senior Taylor Pelton had nine each.
Marshall captured the first set, 25-21. The Herd began the game with a kill by Addisyn Rowe, one of three she had on the night. Tied at 16, Marshall reeled off five-straight points and never trailed in the set again to take the opening set.
The second set was the closest among the teams as Marshall edged out VT, 29-27. Down 24-23, Virginia Tech had three different opportunities to win on its own serve, but had three service errors with set point in hand. A Virginia Tech attack error and a kill by Pelton clinched the set and the two-set match advantage for the Herd.
Marshall and Virginia Tech went back-and-forth in the final set. After being tied at nine, the Herd won seven of nine straight points and never lost control of the set from there. Marshall pushed its lead to the largest of the set at 20-14, following a Justice Craft kill. The Herd closed out the match, 25-21, after a kill by Tiffany Isaacs.
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The Thundering Herd continues the Thunder Invite on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Toledo and at 7 p.m. against Maryland. Maryland edged on Toledo in the first match of the tournament in five sets.