Nov. 1, 2013
Box Score (PDF) | Twitter
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall volleyball lost a 3-2 (25-20, 19-25, 18-25, 25-21, 15-11) heartbreaker to Conference USA foe UTEP on Friday night at the Cam Henderson Center.
"Tonight we just were never able to fully get in sync," coach Mitch Jacobs said. "And it was quite evident that UTEP played with more desire. It's unacceptable to be out hustled anytime, let alone in your own gym. "We have been a team that leaves it all on the court. But tonight we can't say that."
The Thundering Herd slipped to 14-12 (7-3 C-USA) on the season while the Miners improved to 13-9 (6-4 C-USA) on the year.
Marshall struggled offensively all night and only tallied a .104 hitting percentage while UTEP was able to muster up a .129 hitting efficiency on the night. Both teams collected nine total rebounds while UTEP collected 101 digs to Marshall's 100 digs.
In the first set, the Herd came out swinging and grabbed a 5-2 advantage behind three big kills from senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.). The Miners answered with three-straight points to knot things at five and was able to tack a few more on to force Marshall into a timeout, leading 10-7. The Herd was never able to gain any momentum throughout the back half of the set and lost 25-20.
The Herd came out playing much better in the second frame and jumped out to a 4-2 advantage and kept its intensity up throughout much of the set forcing UTEP into a timeout up 20-15. Marshall was able to keep up its energy level to finish on a 5-4 run to win the set, 25-19.
The third frame looked very similar to the second set as the Herd jumped out to a 4-1 advantage. The Miners were unable to really get their offensive game in sync and was forced into a timeout trailing 19-14. The Herd came out of the timeout with a quick 4-1 run to force UTEP right back into the huddle. Marshall was able to close out the set, winning 25-18.
Marshall was able to carry over its two straight-set victories into the fourth set and jumped out a quick 18-13 advantage. Unfortunately for the Herd, that is where the turning point of the match happened. Four-straight points by the Miners, including three-straight points from Lindsey Larson forced Marshall into a timeout only up one, 18-17. The Herd was unable to answer UTEP's intensity and they went on an 8-3 run out of the timeout to take the set, 25-21.
The final set started out like a classic gladiator fight with neither team refusing to leave without anything less than a victory. UTEP called a timeout trailing 9-8 to rally its troops. The Miners were able to gain some momentum and forced Marshall into a timeout leading 12-11. Marshall was unable to answer the energy level of the Miners once again and dropped the final set 15-11.
While it was a poor offensive night for the Herd, it was able to rack up some defensive accolades. Senior libero Dorothy Rahal (Venice, Fla.) tallied a career-high 33 digs, which ties her for the fourth most in Marshall history and the most in a 25-point set match. The NCAA adapted a 25-point set match rule in 2008. Junior setter Sammie Bane (Brownstown, Ind.) tallied a season-best 19 digs while senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.) added 17 and freshman defensive specialist Allie Kellerman chipped in with 11 digs.
"Hopefully we can chalk this one up to a bad night, move forward and play with greater intensity come Sunday," concluded Jacobs.
Marshall volleyball will return to action Sunday when it hosts conference foe UTSA at noon.