Sept. 14, 2013
Box Score HTML PDF | Byous-McConnell's Video
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall volleyball defeated Eastern Kentucky 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 25-23, 25-20) in the fourth match of the Marshall Thunder Invitational on Saturday in the Cam Henderson Center. The Herd have won both of its matches so far and will play Kent State at 7:30 p.m. in the championship match.
Leading the Herd was senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.), who collected her third double-double of the season with 14 kills and 18 digs. Fellow senior Sacha Byous-McConnel (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) chipped in with 10 kills with a .529 hitting percentage. Junior setter Sammie Bane (Brownstown, Ind.) tallied 40 assists averaging 10 per set while senior libero Dorothy Rahal (Venice, Fla.) recorded 17 digs.
In the first set each team battled hard before freshman middle blocker Ally Kiekover (Grand Rapids, Mich.) earned two service aces to give Marshall the first defined lead of the set, 6-2. Eastern Kentucky took advantage of Marshall errors to tie the frame at 11 apiece, before coach Jacobs called his first timeout of the match. Two kills from freshman outside hitter Elyse Panick (Chicago) gave the Herd a go-ahead 19-16 lead. Eastern Kentucky used two timeouts to try and kill the Marshall momentum, but was unsuccessful with the Herd four points shy of taking the first set, 21-16. The set win came at the hands of Byous-McConnell, who smashed the final point into the center of the Colonials defense, 25-19.
The second frame followed the pattern of the first with both teams fighting for a lead. The two-point advantage went to the Colonials first, forcing coach Jacobs to call the first timeout of the set at 16-14. The Herd fought back with a three-point run that gave Marshall a one-point lead and pushed the Colonials into a timeout, 17-16. The battle continued, and each coach called timeouts to try and end any sign of momentum. EKU was the first to reach 25 and won the extra point to take the second frame, 26-24.
Being tied 1-1, the teams battled for the match lead in the third set. The momentum fell on the Colonials courtside with a 7-4 lead over the Herd. Marshall was able to threaten, tying the set at 11 apiece at the expense of an EKU error. Marshall was fired up after a kill from Byous-McConnell, who served for the Herd for the next two points, 15-12, but the Herd fell under 18-17, and coach Jacobs took a timeout. The Herd rattled the EKU defense after a Der kill and Panick service ace, pushing the Colonials into a timeout with the Herd three points shy of taking the third set, 22-21. Marshall refused to give up the lead and took the final point with a surprise kill from Bane, 25-23.
With Marshall ahead in the match 2-1, neither team dared to go down without a fight. The Herd became the enforcer quickly, taking the initial two-point lead of the fourth frame, 5-3. EKU tied the set at 9 apiece, but Marshall took another two-point lead that forced the Colonials into a timeout, 13-11. Marshall kept EKU’s defense flustered, taking a 20-16 lead before a Colonials timeout. The Herd forced the Colonials to feel uneasy, earning the final point and match win on an EKU attacking error, 25-20.
Marshall will face Kent State (3-5), who is also undefeated in the tournament, in the championship match in the Henderson Center at 7:30 p.m.