Herd Volleyball Claims C-USA Regular Season Crown





Nov. 6, 2005

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Orlando, Fla. - With a convincing 3-0 (30-17, 30-26, 30-21) win over UCF Sunday afternoon in Orlando, Fla., the Thundering Herd volleyball team clinched the Conference USA regular season championship.

Marshall improved to 21-5 overall and 13-1 in Conference USA with at least a two-match lead over all other teams in C-USA with two to play. The Thundering Herd holds the tie-breaker head-to-head over second place Houston, giving them the Conference USA title in its first season in the league.

"It's exciting for our girls to win Marshall's first Conference USA title," Marshall head coach Mitch Jacobs said. "I look forward to it being one of many for all of our athletic programs at Marshall.

With the loss, UCF drops to 7-15 overall and 5-10 in Conference USA.

The Thundering Herd once again was impressive offensively as it .371 for the match. The Herd was once again led by AVCA Player of the Week Kelly-Anne Billingy with 17 kills and a .375 hitting percentage. Equally as impressive on the night were the performances of the Herd's senior middles Amber Sims and Nickie Sanlin. Sims finished with 11 kills and .562 hitting percentage with five block assists and one solo. Sanlin hit .833 on the day with 10 kills on 12 swings with no errors.

"I thought Amber Sims was our best player at the net today," Jacobs added. "All three seniors were outstanding and led us to this victory.

"Knowing how hard these three seniors have worked to turn this program around...it is exciting to have them win a championship. However, I know that they feel their work is not done yet.

 

 

Also, senior setter Katie Stein added to her collection of stellar performances with 45 assists, seven kills, a .600 hitting percentage and nine digs in the win. Stephanie Cahill had 10 kills and Maggie Arias had 11 digs to lead all players.

In the win, Marshall outhit UCF .371 to .152, and outdug the Golden Knights 43 to 26.

Clinching the C-USA regular season championship means it the first time the Herd has won a regular season title since it went 12-2 in 1996 to win the Southern Conference crown.

Marshall has two more matches remaining when it plays host to UAB and Memphis next weekend in the Cam Henderson Center on Friday and Sunday respectively. Memphis handed the Herd its only C-USA loss earlier in the year.