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@HerdVolleyball Sweeps Day Two of the Rocky Top Classic

Sept. 16, 2017

Marshall vs. Furman Box Score (PDF) | Marshall vs. USC Upstate Box Score (PDF)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Marshall volleyball team swept the second day of competition at the Rocky Top Classic with a four-set win over Furman and a three-set win over USC Upstate on Saturday at the Thompson-Boling Arena.
“I was really happy with our energy today,” head coach Mitch Jacobs said. “Our ball control and defense was at its best and I thought the offense began to get a nice rhythm. We finally get to out a few days of practice together this week as we enter conference play against a Charlotte team that has been winning a lot.”
The Thundering Herd improves to 5-10 overall, while Furman moved to 6-6 and USC Upstate fell to 3-10.
MATCH ONE: MARSHALL 3, FURMAN 1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-12)
Marshall snapped its three-match loss streak in the first match on Saturday with a win against former Southern Conference rival Furman, 3-1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-12).
After suffering a first set loss, Marshall came out strong in the second set with an early 5-1 lead that featured kills from sophomore Jac’cara Walker and freshman Katie Jacques. Furman rallied and brought the set within one at the 5-4 mark, but that would be the closest the Paladins got in the set. The Thundering Herd extended its lead to 18-11 after scoring four consecutive points. The Herd went on to win the set, 25-14.  
The Thundering Herd continued to control the momentum in the third set by leading wire-to-wire. Marshall built itself an early 10-1 lead that featured kills by Jacques, Walker and a block by freshman Addisyn Rowe and Walker. Furman was able to cut its deficit to five at 21-16, but Marshall scored four straight points to win the set and to take the match advantage.
Marshall won the first three points of the fourth set after two Furman attack errors and a block by Walker and redshirt freshman Tiffany Isaacs. The Thundering Herd never lost control of the lead and won the final set by its largest margin of the match, 25-12.
Walker finished with her seventh double-double of the season with a career-high 26 kills and 10 digs. The Gainesville, Fla., native had two blocks, one ace and held a .467 hitting percentage. Sophomore Madelyn Cole led the Herd with 44 assists. Freshman Jessa Long had a team-high 16 digs, while Rowe and Isaacs had five blocks.
MATCH TWO: MARSHALL 3, USC UPSTATE 0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-16)
Marshall completed the day two sweep of the Rocky Top Classic with a victory of the USC Upstate Spartans, 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-16).
The teams opened the first set deadlocked until a five-point run by the Herd gave Marshall an 11-6 lead. USC Upstate cut the lead to two at 13-11, but the Herd staged a six-point run to increase its lead to eight points, 19-11. Madison Hill had four kills during the run. The Spartans came within six points at 24-18, but a kill by Jac’cara Walker closed out the first set, giving the Herd a 25-18 opening set win.
Neither team could build a lead early in the second set, with the teams within two points at all times until a quick run by the Spartans gave USC Upstate a 12-8 lead. The Herd managed to tie the set at 15-15, but a quick three-point run by the Spartans gave USC Upstate an 18-15 lead. A four-point run highlighted by kills by Addisyn Rowe and Walker gave the Herd a 23-22 lead. Marshall took three of the final four points to take the second set, 26-24.
The Herd took five of the first seven points to begin the third set. Tiffany Isaacs had a pair of aces during the run. USC Upstate made a run to pull within three points at 11-8, but the Herd took six of the next seven points to build a 17-9 lead. Kills by Hill and Walker increased the Herd’s lead to eleven points, 23-12. USC Upstate built a three-point run to cut the deficit to 24-16, but Madelyn Cole finished the match with a kill, clinching the sweep for the Herd.
Walker led the Herd with 16 kills. Hill added 13 kills and Katie Jacques tallied seven kills. Madelyn Cole had 35 assists and Kayla Simmons added 13 digs. Cole and Rowe tallied four blocks each. Walker and Isaacs had two aces apiece.
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The Thundering Herd begins Conference USA play on Friday, Sept. 22 by traveling to the Charlotte 49ers. First serve is set for 6 p.m.