@HerdVolleyball Secures Road Win at Louisiana Tech in Four Sets
Weaver and Cole with double-doubles
RUSTON, La. – Marshall volleyball earned its first road Conference USA win of the season on Sunday with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 28-30, 25-20) decision at Louisiana Tech.
The Thundering Herd improves to 16-6 overall and 5-2 in C-USA play with the win. LA Tech moves to 10-13 overall and 1-6 in league play.
Marshall was led on offense by four players with double-digit kills. Senior Cassie Weaver had17 kills while sophomore Taylor Pelton had 15 and senior Ally Kiekover had 14. Freshman Madison Hill finished the match with 10 kills and a team-high .562 hitting percentage. Junior Kayla Simmons and freshman Madelyn Cole tied for a team-best 31 assists. Senior Allie Kellerman had a match-high 22 digs.
Cole and Weaver both had a double-double in today’s match. Cole finished with 31 assists and 13 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. Weaver also recorded her sixth double-double this season with 17 kills and 10 digs.
The Thundering Herd started off the match with a 2-0 lead by kills by Pelton and Hill. Marshall went on to push its lead to four at 9-5 following a kill by Weaver. MU continued to control the tempo of the set as Weaver put the lead to five at 18-13. The Herd never lost control of the lead throughout the set but LA Tech rallied and tied the frame twice at 21 and 22. Marshall took a 24-22 advantage when the Lady Techsters had a service error and Marshall’s Weaver registered a kill. Sophomore Lauren Mattmuller sealed the set win with a kill.
Louisiana Tech jumped out to an early 5-2 lead in the second set. The three-point deficit forced the Herd to call a timeout. After the break, Marshall scored five of six points to take a 7-6 lead. Neither team could gain ground until the Herd with a 15-13 lead went on a three-point run to hold an 18-13 edge. The Herd pushed its lead to 22-16, but the Lady Techsters didn’t go away quiet. Louisiana Tech went on to score four points in a row to bring the frame to 22-20. A Kiekover kill and an Audrey Shannon ace gave the Herd a 24-20 lead. LA Tech scored three-straight points to put the score at 24-23, but Hill halted the run and gave Marshall a 25-23 set win.
It was all Herd to begin the third set as it jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with kills from Justice Craft, Pelton and Kiekover. The three-point lead continued to 6-3 when Mattmuller collected a service ace. Louisiana Tech tied the set at seven apiece and eventually took a 13-9 lead. The Lady Techsters pushed its lead to its largest at 19-14 following a Marshall attacking error. Despite the five-point deficit, the Herd rallied and tied the set at 23. The two teams traded points until Louisiana Tech went on to score three points in a row to take the set, 30-28. The frame featured nine ties and three lead changes, most of any set in the match.
The beginning of the fourth set was back and forth as the biggest lead held was two points. Marshall took its first lead at the 8-7 mark after a kill by Mattmuller. The Thundering Herd allowed LA Tech to tie the set at eight, but quickly retook the lead after a Weaver Kill. Marshall went on to never surrender its lead in the set as it clinched the four-set victory.
Quotes by head coach Mitch Jacobs
On getting the win today:
I feel really fortunate to get out of here with a ‘W’. They are playing everyone tough and just aren't getting the wins yet. I can see Louisiana Tech catching a few wins down the stretch and possibly even challenging for the seven or eight spot at the tourney. They really play hard and make you beat them.
On the defense:
I was glad to see our defense toughen up as the match went on but I'm concerned about the back step we took with our block this weekend. It will be nice to have some time for training the next couple weeks to focus there.
On Kiekover, Cole and Weaver:
Ally Kiekover and Madelyn Cole are definitely starting to connect better on the attack and Cassie Weaver had a great match today. She needed to do a little more than usual and kept herself involved the entire match.
On Pelton and Mattmuller and looking ahead:
Best thing for me to see today was Taylor Pelton and Lauren Mattmuller getting out here and giving our team excellent performances. Proud of the team effort today. Now we need to find another gear heading down to Miami for our only match next week.
Marshall closes its three-match road swing in Miami against the FIU Panthers on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.