Walker, Weaver Lead @HerdVolleyball over Florida Atlantic
Madelyn Cole set a career high with 55 assists in the match
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall volleyball picked up its seventh win in Conference USA Sunday afternoon, defeating the Florida Atlantic Owls, 3-1 (19-25, 26-24, 25-19, 25-14), at the Cam Henderson Center.
The win clinched Marshall a berth into the C-USA Tournament and snapped FAU’s eight-game winning streak.
Madelyn Cole had a career-high 55 assists in the match. Jac’cara Walker tallied 19 kills. Cassie Weaver tallied her eighth double-double of the season with 19 kills and 13 digs. Allie Kellerman had 16 digs and Audrey Shannon had nine digs.
Marshall (18-7, 7-3 C-USA) and Owls opened the first set by splitting the first 12 points. FAU (13-11, 8-2 C-USA) took the next five points, forcing a Marshall timeout. Kills by Madison Hill, Walker and Shelby Conley cut the Owls lead to 12-9 but the Owls took seven of the next ten points to extend their lead to 19-12, forcing Marshall to call its final timeout of the set. A three point Herd run cut the FAU lead to 19-15 but the Owls ended run by taking four of the next five points. FAU took the first set, 25-19.
Marshall took seven of the first nine points to begin the second set, forcing FAU to call an early timeout. The Owls responded by taking seven of the next ten points to cut the Herd lead to 10-9. FAU took a 13-12 lead but a pair of kills by Ally Kiekover and an Audrey Shannon service ace put the Herd on top, 15-13. FAU took four of the next five points to regain a 17-16 lead but an Owls service error tied the set. FAU took a 21-19 lead but kills by Kiekover and Walker tied the set once again. FAU had a set point at 24-23 but the Herd took the final three points of the set to take the second set, 26-24, and even the match at one set apiece.
The Herd and Owls split the first 12 points of the third set before Marshall scored the next four points to take a 10-6 lead. FAU took the next two points but Conley ended the run with a kill. A pair of kills by Walker extended Marshall’s lead to 15-11. FAU cut Marshall’s lead down to two at 19-17 but the Herd responded with kills by Weaver and Conley. Marshall took the last five points of the set to take the third set, 25-19, and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Herd opened the fourth set by taking the first four points of the set. FAU cut the Herd lead to 5-2 before kills by Walker and Weaver put the Herd up 7-2. FAU went on a run to tie the match at ten but the Herd responded. Kills by Weaver, Walker and Kiekover started an eight point Marshall run to put the Herd up 22-12. Marshall closed the match by taking 15 of the last 19 points to take the set, 25-14, and win the match, 3-1.
Quotes from head coach Mitch Jacobs
On the turning point in the second set
“The second set was the biggest part of the match. Trying to beat a FAU team that is as confident as they are is hard. We knew it would take a huge effort to beat them. But the second set was the biggest part, winning 26-24.”
On Madelyn Cole’s performance
“We made a good run in the middle of the match. Madelyn [Cole] hung in there, I’m so proud of her. She has to deal with me for six rotations instead of three. Although that's tough, she started realizing it was the information that she needed. And I’m so proud of her.”
On Shelby Conley and Taylor Riedel
“Shelby [Conley] played well, she served tough. And how about Taylor [Riedel], she’s a senior who hasn’t taken her head out of the zone all season long. We needed her today, and we’ll continue to need her. We always know she’s ready when she goes in.”
The Herd travels to Denton, Texas for a match with North Texas Friday. First serve is scheduled for 8 p.m.