Oct. 1, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.VA. – The Marshall Thundering Herd volleyball program played in their second conference match of the season, and came up short to the UTEP Miners, 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 21-25, 24-26).
Marshall drops to 2-12 (1-3 C-USA) with the loss and UTEP moves to 12-5 (2-2 C-USA) with the victory.
Despite beating the Miners in every single statistical category, unforced errors forced the Herd to drop the match to UTEP in four sets. Marshall had 14 service errors, compared to UTEP’s five.
“We played so hard tonight, you have to credit UTEP with staying calm in tough situations,” commented Head Coach Mitch Jacobs after the match. “Everyone on the floor tonight did something really well. We need to push through and get a big win. It will make all the difference.”
Abby Tomas had the top performance at the net after finishing with 18 kills. Cameron Yoho was just shy of the top spot with 17 kills. On defense, Desirre Wilkerson had a dominant effort at the middle-blocker position, tallying a career-high seven blocks (2 solo, 5 assists) and Ryanne Milligan led the team in digs with 21 at her libero position.
The first set stayed close until the score reached 14-15 (UTEP). After that point, UTEP pushed forward for a five point run and continued to ride the momentum, holding off the Herd to win the set 25-20. Desirre Wilkerson earned three of her seven blocks in the set.
The second set was the Herd’s best performance of the night and their lone set win of the match. Marshall forced UTEP to under a ten percent attack percentage, compared to Herd’s .286 average. Sacha Byous-McConnell led the team in kills during the set with four.
UTEP turned the tables on Marshall in the third set and held the Herd to under a ten percent attack average. Even with Tomas’ seven kill performance and Wilkerson’s three block (1 solo, 2 assist) finish in the set, the Miners established a lead at 3-2 and never relinquished the lead for the remainder of the set to win 25-21.
Cameron Yoho battled in the fourth set, tallying eight kills, and tried to put the Herd back into the match, but the Herd fell just short after losing in extra points. The set looked promising, with the score tilted to Marshall’s favor at 20-15 late in the set, but UTEP’s Jeane Horton had four kills in the final points to help the Miners fight back for a 26-24 victory, giving UTEP a 3-1 win.
The Herd return to the Henderson Center on Sunday to face UCF in another conference match-up. The match is set to start at 12:00 p.m. Follow the match online by listening to WMUL radio coverage at www.marshall.edu/wmul and watch live stats on GameTracker, offered at www.herdzone.com.