Oct. 18, 2009
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Kristin Marcum tallied a double-double, while Emily Sullivan and Elizabeth Herman each recorded double digit kill performances to defeat UTEP, 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 26-24, 25-22) in a Conference USA match on Sunday afternoon at the Cam Henderson Center.
Marcum contributed 10 kills and a match-high 18 digs to earn her ninth double-double of the season, tying her with Elizabeth Fleming for best on the team.
Sullivan recorded a team-best 14 kills and added two block assists and digs, along with Herman contributed 10 kills, eight digs and three block assists.
The win gives the Herd a 17-5 overall record, and 5-3 in C-USA play. The Miners fall to 9-13 on the season and 2-7 in conference action.
"We're 5-3 in conference and sitting in at least fourth or fifth place in the league," head coach Mitch Jacobs said. "We have to stay in the top eight and get better so we can give ourselves the opportunity to get after that championship."
In the first frame of the afternoon, the Herd pushed the envelope early on, holding an 11-6 lead going into the first UTEP timeout. The advantage would expand to 19-10, before an impressive comeback by the Miners. UTEP, which had trailed by as much as nine points, got within one at 24-23, but Herman slammed home her fourth kill of the set to help capture the first game, 25-23.
The offensive efficiency woes that plagued the Herd for most of the afternoon continued into the second set, as the team compiled a .147 hitting percentage. MU evened the score at 8-all on a kill from Sullivan, which followed a timeout from Jacobs. UTEP would hold the advantage throughout the remainder of the set. The Herd made a valiant comeback to get within three, 24-21, but a kill by Aidan Mooney evened the match, 1-1.
"We have to get back in the rhythm of ball control because we ended up setting right into a big block for most of the match," Jacobs said. "We had 36 errors, but if you look at it we only had 17 unforced errors. It's not awful but it's also not good. We've got to do a better job of taking care of the ball."
MU came out charging in the third frame, a set that the Herd has struggled with in recent matches. The home team would hold a seven-point advantage (13-6), the largest of the frame, thanks to a kill from Sullivan set up by Marcum. The advantage would shrink to one point, 20-19, after a Herd attacking error.
Leading by one point, 23-22, Fleming faked a set for a kill, which caught the UTEP defense off guard. After the Miners tallied two straight points to tie the score at 24-all, an attacking error by UTEP and a kill from Herman helped guide the Herd to a win in the third set.
Cameron Yoho connected for four of her eight kills on the afternoon in the fourth set and Fleming dished out 12 assists to lead MU and take the fourth set and the match, 25-23.
Along with her eight kills, Yoho added a team-best six block assists.
"Our serving tonight was fantastic," Jacobs said. "It wasn't like we aced them all over the place, but we really served to great spots. Between having a solid floor defense and serving to good spots we gave ourselves opportunities to win."
Fleming recorded a total of 44 assists and nine digs at the setter position, while Katy Schad added 17 digs and eight kills and Ryanne Milligan chipped in with 15 digs of her own.
UTEP was led by Amy Sanders who recorded a double-double with 15 kills and 16 digs. Cassandra Burruel added a match-best 12 block assists in the loss for the Miners.
MU hits the road for a pair of C-USA games next week. The Herd first travels to Hattiesburg, Miss., to play Southern Miss on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. MU then heads further south to Orlando, Fla., to battle UCF on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m.