Sept. 28, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall volleyball kept its undefeated home record alive with a 3-2 (23-25, 27-25, 17-25, 25-21, 15-7) victory over UCF on Friday night in the Cam Henderson Center.
Marshall improved to 13-5 (3-1 C-USA) with the win and now has a 5-0 record in five-set finishes. UCF dropped to 4-11 (1-2 C-USA) with the defeat.
"We're finding ways to get it done," commented Jacobs on the team's resiliency. "I love our energy towards the end of matches. I'd love to see that energy play out higher throughout the start.
"The credit goes to the kids for never giving up and they are making believers in us," continued Jacobs. "We understand that they are not going to quit and I didn't feel like we were out of it when we lost set three."
Marshall's three-headed attack of Laura Der, Sacha Byous-McConnell, and Katy Schad earned a combined 51 of the Herd's 61 kills.
Outside hitters Der and Schad both earned double-doubles on the night. Der finished with a team-high 20 kills, 13 digs and five blocks. Schad contributed 16 kills and 10 digs. Schad leads the team with 12 double-doubles, while Der has eight.
Byous-McConnell, who ranks fifth in the league in hitting percentage, led the team in hitting percentage with a .448 average. She finished with only two errors and recorded 15 kills off of 29 attacks. She also added four blocks on defense.
"Tonight what helped open up our outside pins was Sacha," said Jacobs. "She did a great job of getting to the right side pin and it made their middles hesitate and helped us get some more lanes to get through."
The defensive effort was the game-changer in the five-set duel for Marshall. The Herd totaled 15.0 (3 solo, 24 assists) team blocks, compared to UCF's 7.0 (1 solo, 12 assists).
The freshmen duo of Jillian Shemanski and Lauren Legge led the team at the net. After finishing last weekend's match against SMU with 13 blocks, Shemanski followed with a nine block effort against the Golden Knights. Legge added a season-high seven blocks, five of which came in the deciding set.
"Jillian is working really hard in practice," said Jacobs on Shemanski. "Coach (Jorden) Smith is getting them to work really hard on the block. He is with those middles in private video sessions and she is really into it. She is into being a student of the game."
The duo's defense in the fifth set secured the win for the Herd. Shemanski earned four block assists in the deciding set, while Legge combined for one block solo and four block assists. The effort forced UCF to a -.136 hitting percentage.
Junior libero Dorothy Rahal earned her second 30-plus dig performance of the season, finishing the match with 30 digs. Rahal is currently third in the conference in digs with 4.24 dig per set average.
"She is the catalyst," commented Jacobs of Rahal. "She is doing a great job as our libero. I'm just really proud of Dorothy. She is a gung-ho kid and there is not quit in her. She drives other people to play like that around her."
Setter Sammie Bane posted her second 50-plus assists performance, tallying 50 set-ups in the match. She helped the team to a .209 hitting percentage and also added seven digs on defense.
Marshall will return to the court on Sunday to face off against Southern Miss. The match is set to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET. Visit HerdZone.com for more details.