Oct. 26, 2013
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall volleyball defeated Conference USA foe Charlotte, 3-1 (31-29, 25-17, 24-26, 25- 23) Saturday afternoon at the Cam Henderson Center.
The Thundering Herd improved to 13-11 (7-2 C-USA) on the season while the 49ers fell to 10-14 (0-9 C-USA) on the year.
“Great to see our girls come out on top today,” coach Mitch Jacobs said. “Charlotte did a great job keeping our offense from finding its rhythm. They moved the serve around and played great floor defense."
Leading the way for the Thundering Herd offensively was senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.), who clipped the 1,100 kill mark for her career with 14 kills on the afternoon. Senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) led the Herd with 19 kills and a .400 hitting percentage.
Recording arguably the greatest performance of her career was senior libero Dorothy Rahal (Venice, Fla.), who tallied 31 digs on the day with a perfect serve receive efficiency on 33 total attempts. Her 31 digs during the match tied her for ninth all time with Maggie Arias for the highest total in a match in Marshall history. It was also her third 30+ dig performance of her career. Rahal clipped the 1,500-career dig plateau on Saturday, which ranks second all time.
“Having three seniors and an experienced setter really gave us confidence that we could play through the tough moments,” added Jacobs. “Dorothy (Rahal) was a warrior for us and we needed everyone of her digs today! I can’t remember the last time she’s been aced. Sacha (Byous-McConnell) and Der (Laura) had to work very hard for their kills today but stayed with it to lead us.”
The first set went back-and-forth early in the set, Marshall then rallied and took a 12-7 lead before stretching its lead to 15-9. Charlotte had a rally of their own to tie the set at 16. Both teams battled until they were squared at 25. Each team had multiple set points with Marshall eventually prevailing in a thrilling first set, 31-29.
The second set started with the Herd taking an early 8-3 lead and continuing its momentum to force the 49ers into a timeout, down 17-13. Coming out of the timeout, the Herd forced Charlotte into another timeout after rallying four-straight points from the 49ers. Charlotte was unable to answer the Marshall scoring runs and fell 25-17 in the set.
Marshall came out swinging in the third set and looked prime to sweep the 49ers, jumping out to a 6-1 advantage. Charlotte called a timeout down 13-8 and was able to keep the set close, forcing Marshall into a timeout up 17-13. The 49ers clawed back into the set and was able to even things at 21 all. Charlotte was able to gain the momentum and take five of the last eight points to take the set 26-24.
In the fourth frame, the Herd got off to another quick start taking an early 7-3 lead but was unable to sustain its energy as the 49ers scored the next three points. Marshall forced Charlotte into a timeout down 17-13 to rally its troops but was forced to call an additional timeout trailing 22-17. The 49ers gave it all they had by taking six of the final nine points from the Herd but it wasn’t enough as Marshall won the final set 25-23.
Marshall will travel to Morgantown, W.Va, to take on West Virginia in the battle for the Golden Ball on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
“Now we look forward to heading up north and giving our best against the Mountaineers,” concluded Jacobs.