Sept. 30, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - After losing the first two sets to begin the match, Marshall clawed its way back from the two-set deficit to win the final three games, defeating Southern Miss 3-2 (21-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 15-12) in the Cam Henderson Center on Sunday afternoon.
Marshall extended its undefeated home record to 7-0 and now records a 6-0 stint in five-set matches. The Herd improved to 14-5, (4-1 C-USA) with the win, while Southern Miss dropped to 6-10 (2-2 C-USA).
The 4-1 conference record is the best start in league play since Marshall went 5-0 to start conference play in 2007 and the six five-set wins is the most in program history since finishing the 2004 season with seven.
"We are living on too tight of an edge here," said head coach Mitch Jacobs about the third 3-2 win in a row. "We have to just get going from the start. The resiliency is great and the players are playing hard, but we aren't playing hard enough from the get-go. We again found a way to win and it's great to be 14-5."
Junior outside hitter Laura Der recorded a career-high 21 kills and earned her ninth double-double of the season after finishing with 16 digs. She also combined for a team-high two service aces and a career-high four block solos, leading the team in the blocks category.
Katy Schad followed with 17 kills, and a team-high .293 hitting percentage. The senior outside hitter led the defense with 24 digs, helping Marshall to its second-highest dig count of the season with 83.
Middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell finished with 14 kills and had two blocks, while Lauren Legge added seven kills and a block.
On defense, libero Dorothy Rahal totaled 16 digs and Andrea Snipes-Booker finished with her second-best dig count of the season with 10. Middle blocker Jillian Shemanski combined for three blocks.
After losing the first two sets 25-21 to the Golden Eagles, Marshall was sparked by the two-headed attack of Der and Legge after the second set break. Der recorded eight kills in the third set and finished with a .316 hitting percentage, while Legge followed with six kills a .500 hitting percentage to win the set.
The Herd held the Golden Eagles to a .065 team hitting percentage in the third set and continued to be authoritative on defense in the fourth set, holding Southern Miss to a .064 team hitting percentage. Schad and Der each contributed five kills to send the match to a deciding set.
The two teams traded points up to the 10-10 mark, but a solo block and two kills by Schad in the final moments helped seal the win and give Marshal its most wins since 2009.
The Herd will return to the Cam Henderson Center on October 5 for a match against East Carolina. The match will start at 6:00 p.m. E.T. Check out HerdZone.com for more information.