Oct. 13, 2013
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DENTON, Texas - Marshall volleyball knocked off Conference USA foe North Texas, 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-23, 26-24) on Sunday afternoon.
"Beating a team as good as North Texas at their place is just over the top exciting for us," said coach Mitch Jacobs. "And to rebound from the Rice match makes it even sweeter."
The Thundering Herd improved to 10-11 (4-2 C-USA) on the season while the Mean Green fell to 12-10 (4-2 C-USA) on the year.
Senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.) tallied a team-best 20 kills and 15 digs with a .238 hitting percentage while senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) kept up her efficient ways by recording a .429 hitting percentage with 15 kills. Byous-McConnell is hitting .379 on the season which ranks fourth in Conference USA.
"Having our seniors lead the way they did, was of the utmost importance," commented Jacobs. "Der and Sacha really led us offensively and that takes pressure off of our younger players. We got some decent matchups and Sammie (Bane) put the ball where it needed to be."
The Herd started out a little sluggish to begin the match, falling behind the Mean Green, 7-2 in the first set, forcing coach Mitch Jacobs into an early timeout. Marshall was able to fight back in the set and push the deficit to only points but its momentum wasn't enough and the Herd fell 25-21.
The second frame started out much better for the Herd, where it opened up on a 3-0 run and forced North Texas to a timeout leading 9-5. Marshall was able to keep the momentum on its side behind four big kills from Der to win the set 25-19.
The third set was closer for the two schools as each team went back-and-fourth the entire set. The Marshall squad forced North Texas into a timeout when they took a 15-12 lead. The Mean Green was able to keep it close much of the set and pushed the Herd to only a one-point advantage at 24-23, before Der concluded the set for Marshall with a huge kill.
The fourth set was neck-to-neck throughout and was the most intense set of the match. Marshall was forced into a timeout when North Texas grabbed a 12-8 advantage. The Herd came out of the break to rally and even things at 14 before taking the lead at 18-17. The teams traded the next few points and the Mean Green pushed the Herd to the brink, leading 24-22. Marshall answered with four consecutive points including a big kill from Byous-McConnell to take the match 3-1 from North Texas.
"Last, but most important, we won the serve and pass game today," remarked Jacobs. "Dorothy (Rahal) was fantastic directing the responsibilities and to not be aced against a good serving team might be the most telling stat of why were able to pull this one out."
Marshall will return home to face C-USA foe East Carolina on Friday Oct. 18 in the Cam Henderson Center at 5:30 p.m. ET.