Sept. 28, 2008
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Jalicia Ross (Bank Village, Trinidad) delivered a match-high 20 kills and six assisted blocks, but it was not enough as UAB won a thrilling 3-2 (24-26, 25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 16-18) match over the Thundering Herd in Sunday afternoon's Conference USA volleyball contest at the Cam Henderson Center.
With the loss, Marshall falls to 8-5 overall, 1-2 in league action, while UAB improves to 11-3 overall, 2-1 in C-USA.
With the match even at two sets apiece, Marshall took a 14-12 lead before an attacking error and an Ivana Bozic kill allowed UAB to knot the contest at 14-14. Ross killed her 20th ball of the day to give the Herd a 15-14 edge, but Lilly Domingos responded with a kill to lock the match once again. With the set tied at 16, the Blazers used an Andrea Lalic kill and a Marshall attacking error to seal the set and the match.
"The players played their hearts out," head coach Mitch Jacobs said following the match. "We lost another tight match to a very experienced team, but we are getting better."
In the opening set, UAB took an early 16-11 lead and kept a cushion throughout the set, despite Marshall tying the frame on six occasions. With the score knotted at 24-24, a pair of unforced errors by the Herd gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead in the contest.
Marshall responded in the second stanza by building an early 17-12 lead on the strength of four Kristin Marcum (Arlington, Texas) kills and three from Elizabeth Herman (Dunwoody, Ga.). UAB scored six of the next nine points to cut its deficit to 20-18, but a 5-2 run by Marshall, highlighted by a pair of kills from Layne Kehl (Mountain Top, Pa.) and one each from Herman and Ross, preserved the set for the Herd.
After five ties and a pair of lead changes early on in set three, Marshall posted a 19-16 advantage and from there, finished the set with a 5-3 run that was capped off by a Herman put down. Herman notched five kills in the frame, while Ross added four. Emily Sullivan
(Cincinnati, Ohio) and Marcum contributed three kills apiece.
The fourth stanza resembled much of the first three, as the teams played to 11 ties and five lead changes with neither team able to claim more than a three-point advantage. With the score set at 23-20 in favor of UAB, Marshall used a pair of Blazers attacking errors to pull to within one at 23-22. However, a Casey Dent kill and a Marshall attacking error gave UAB a 25-22 win in the set and push the match to a 2-2 stalemate.
Marshall had three players finish the contest with double-digit kills in addition to Ross' match-best 20. Herman totaled 19, while Marcum added 11 and Sullivan finished with 10 on the day (the Herd hit .304 for the match).
Ross and Kehl provided a solid foundation in the middle as Ross swung for a .559 hitting percentage (20K, 1E, 34TA) and Kehl hit at a .571 percentage (5K, 1E, 7TA).
The Herd received a match-high 20-dig effort from Jessica Dhoore (LaPorte, Ind.), while Marcum finished with 11. Taylor Tanner (Union, Ky.) chipped in with 10 digs in the loss.
Elizabeth Fleming (South Bend, Ind.) propelled the Herd offense, handing out 66 assists (a match-best) and added nine digs.
Marshall also out-blocked the Blazers, 12.0-7.0 in the contest.
Domingos led the offensive charge for UAB, picking up 16 kills, while Dent came through with 14. Lalic contributed 12 kills. Heather Thomas collected a team-high 12 digs, while Bozic chipped in 11. Nevena Stefanov accounted for 53 of the Blazers' 57 assists.
Marshall returns to C-USA action, Friday, Oct. 3 for a contest with UCF. The match is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start in Orlando, Fla. The Herd then travels to Hattiesburg, Miss., Sunday, for a 1:00 p.m. ET showdown with the Golden Eagles.