Sept. 12, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - In the final game of the Carolina Classic, the Marshall University volleyball team fell in straight sets to Tennessee Saturday night at the Dean E. Smith Center.
Emily Sullivan earned all-tournament honors after finishing the weekend with a .333 attacking percentage, 29 kills, seven block-assists and a team-best 35.5 points. Saturday's honors mark Sullivan's third tournament team this season.
The Herd moved to 10-2 on the year after it fell in three-games (37-35, 25-16, 25-12) to Tennessee (6-3).
In the first set, MU battled the Lady Volunteers in a consistent two-point matchup, with neither team able to grab exclusive control of the game. The Herd held a 24-22 lead before UT clawed back in what was a battle to the finish.
"Our lack of depth was a major factor tonight," said head coach Mitch Jacobs. "We were in a great match when Liz Fleming stuck her head on the floor at 34-all in game one."
Fleming would go on to finish with six digs and a team-high 35 assists on the night.
Sullivan helped push MU up 35-34, but the Herd was overcome by a kill from UT's Kayla Jeter. Jeter followed with an ace, while Nikki Fowler cemented the UT set at 37-35 with a kill of her own.
Luck gave no mercy in game two, as the Herd suffered yet another injury in Katy Schad.
"Katy kneed herself extremely hard in the second play of game two," said Jacobs. "Liz finished the match, but Katy, who tried to continue, needed to sit out game three."
Despite the incidents, MU stayed within reach in the opening points of the second set with a strong showing by Kristin Marcum, who would finish the set with a team-high four kills.
The Lady Volunteers started to pull away at the 11-9 mark though, as attacking errors plagued the board for MU. The two-point difference was the closest the Herd would get in the set, as UT took the game at 25-16.
"With different people on the floor in uncomfortable positions, Tennessee became too much for us to handle," said Jacobs.
In the third set, UT held a 15-point run under service by Kylie Marshall, as the Lady Volunteers capitalized on MU errors. Marcum put the Herd back on the board with a kill from Fleming to break the UT stretch at 15-2.
Errors continued to hinder the MU offense as UT jumped to a 23-8 advantage. The Herd collected a kill from Marcum, and a trio of kills from Emily Herman to put the score at 23-11. UT closed the set at 25-12, as the Herd fell in straight sets.
Two Herd players notched double-doubles as Marcum was tops with 13 kills and 12 digs, while Herman added 11 kills and 10 digs. Ryanne Milligan added a team-best 15 digs on the night.
"Ryanne Milligan was incredible throughout the match and continues to make incredible strides at the libero position," Jacobs said. "Emily Sullivan was, for the third week in a row, just fantastic offensively for us."
Marshall will stay on the road as they head to Morehead, Ky., to square off against Morehead State at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Carolina Classic all-tournament team:
Leah Hinkey, Tennessee
Chloe Goldman, Tennessee
Emily Sullivan, Marshall
Ingrid Hanson-Tuntland, UNC
Jacque Davisson, Colorado State
Katelin Batten, Colorado State
Danielle Minch, Colorado State *MVP*