Oct. 11, 2013
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HOUSTON – Marshall volleyball dropped a 3-1 (20-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-16) decision to Conference USA foe Rice on Friday night at the Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Thundering Herd fell to 9-11 (3-2 C-USA) while the Owls improved to 5-14 (2-3 C-USA).
“We played beautiful volleyball in set one and then broke down under Rice’s quick tempo,” coach Mitch Jacobs said. “We need to play through tough stretches and keep going.”
Marshall was led by senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), who tallied 12 kills while hitting an incredible .857 hitting percentage while senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.) recorded 10 kills and five digs.
The Herd came out of the gate playing well in the first set. Both teams traded points back-and-fourth before Marshall jumped out to a 12-9 lead. The Owls fought back and tied things at 17 apiece. Rice called a timeout shortly after when the Herd took a 19-17 advantage. The Owls were unable to regain momentum and fell to Marshall 25-20 in the first set.
The second frame wasn’t as kind for the Herd as Marshall never led in the set. Marshall called its final timeout of the set down 15-10 to regroup but was unable to gain any momentum and dropped 10 of the next 14 points to lose the set 25-14.
Marshall came out in the third set by committing three straight errors before getting its first points on the board. The Herd battled back throughout the set, and it was knotted at 16 apiece. Marshall was forced into a timeout after giving up the next three points to the Owls. The Marshal squad fought back once more to pull within one at 24-23 before a kill by Rice’s Tyler Jenkins gave the Owls the set, 25-23.
A big kill from freshman Cassie Weaver
(Huntington, W.Va.) started things off in the right direction for Marshall in the fourth set. The teams traded points for much of the match and things were even at 16 all. The Owls went on a big 9-0 run to end the set, 25-16, and gave the match to the Owls, 3-1.
“They have had an incredibly hard schedule and it’s not coach speak to say they are way better than their record,” commented Jacobs. “But right now we need to be tougher if we want to be successful on the road.”
Marshall will continue its Texas trip by traveling to Denton to take on North Texas on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.