Sept. 29, 2013
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Miami, Fla. – Marshall blanked FIU, 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-20) on Sunday afternoon in the first-ever meeting between the Conference USA newcomer and the Herd.
Marshall improved to 8-9 (2-0 C-USA) on the season while the Panthers slipped to 7-7 (1-1 C-USA).
“We had a great road trip,” commented coach Mitch Jacobs. “Very rarely do you go on the road and sweep the weekend. I’m extremely proud of our team to maintain the level of focus it takes to get two wins.”
Senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.) led the way for the Herd with 14 kills and a .583 hitting percentage while also tallying seven digs. Sophomore middle blocker Jillian Shemanski (Jupiter, Fla.) collected five total blocks, two solo and three assisted.
“It was great to see Laura get on track offensively,” remarked Jacobs. “Sammie (Bane) and Taylor (Riedel) recognized the groove she was in and just kept pumping her the ball.”
The Herd jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first set and continued its momentum throughout the set. FIU called a timeout with Marshall up 13-8 to try to stop the run, but the Panthers were unable to rally and were forced to call another timeout down 21-14. Marshall was able to take the set after a service ace by freshman outside hitter Cassie Weaver (Huntington, W.Va.)
FIU was unable to regroup at the start of the second frame and suffered some costly errors to give the Herd a 14-4 advantage. The Panthers forced the Herd into a timeout after three-straight attack errors by Marshall brought FIU within six points at 16-10. The deficit was too steep for FIU to overcome and Marshall took the set 25-18.
Der came out swinging for the Herd gaining three of the first four points with powerful kills to start the third set. The Panthers refused to go down without a fight and were able to rally to tie the set at 9 apiece. Marshall answered with three-straight points before FIU answered once more to tie the set at 15. The Herd reeled off 10 of the next 15 points to win the final set 25-20.
“I believe the match was won in the serve and pass game,” added Jacobs. “We put a lot of pressure on them and it paid off. They are a good serving team, and I’m very proud of our ball control today as it gave us all the options we had to have to be successful.”
Marshall will continue its conference slate next weekend when they welcome Tulane and Louisiana Tech to Huntington.