@HerdVolleyball Outlasts Charlotte on the Road to Win in Five Sets
Cole had a C-USA season high for assists with 61
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Marshall volleyball won its third-straight match on Sunday by outlasting the Charlotte 49ers, 3-2 (25-20, 25-21, 27-29, 16-25, 15-9).
The Thundering Herd improves to 20-7 overall and is 9-3 in Conference USA with the win. Charlotte falls to 7-21 (1-11 C-USA). This is the first time that the Herd has won 20 games in a season since 2009.
Freshman Madelyn Cole set a season high for C-USA with a career-high 61 assists. Cole’s previous career-high was 55, which was set against Florida Atlantic last Sunday. The Dallas native also finished with a career-high 20 digs and six kills.
The Thundering Herd was paced offensively with four players with double-digit kill totals. Senior Ally Kiekover had season-high 17 kills and hit at .375. Following Kiekover was freshmen Jac’cara Walker with 14 and Madison Hill with 11 kills. Senior Cassie Weaver had her 10th double-double of the season with 10 kills and 20 digs. Junior Justice Craft had an impressive nine kills and a team-high .409 hitting percentage off the bench. Senior Allie Kellerman had a season-high 31 digs and seven assists.
Marshall and Charlotte went back and forth in the beginning of the first set with ties at one, two and four. The ‘Niners eventually took a three-point lead at the 6-9 mark with a Herd attacking error. The Charlotte lead didn’t last as Marshall rallied and scored seven out of eight points to take a 13-10 lead. The Thundering Herd never lost control of the lead from there and closed out the set, 25-20.
The second frame began in a similar fashion as the first with neither team gaining an advantage. Charlotte took a 10-7 lead, but Marshall quickly rallied and scored five out of six points to take a 13-11 lead. Later in the set, Hill recorded four-straight kills to push the Herd lead from 17-16 to 21-16. The Herd maintained its four-point lead and won the set, 25-21.
The third set would be the most tightly contested set in the match as it featured 14 ties and four lead changes. Neither team gained a significant lead until Marshall’s 18-15 advantage following an ace by Cole. Shortly after the lead, Charlotte rallied by scoring four out of five points to tie the set at 19. The 49ers built a lead and earned match point at 24-22. A kill by Weaver and a block by Cole and Lauren Mattmuller tied the set at 24. The two teams remained tied at 27 until Charlotte scored two points in a row to win the set, 29-27.
Charlotte gained momentum by forcing a fourth set and it showed as it built a 13-5 lead in the frame. The eight-point deficit was too much for the Herd and dropped the set, 25-16.
With all the momentum with the 49ers, Marshall came out strong in the final set. The Thundering Herd built an impressive 4-0 lead with kills from Craft and Walker, Marshall kept the pressure on and pushed its lead to 8-2 at the change. The Herd maintained the six point lead at 12-6 following a Hill kill. Walker clinched the match for MU with a kill and closed the set, 15-9.
Quotes by head coach Mitch Jacobs
On the match:
Always great to steal a road win. And to find a way to do so after giving up the momentum is pretty special. I am really proud that we were able to go into set five, momentum all in Charlotte's favor and have the fast start we had. We really needed that and then kept the momentum throughout the set for the win.
On the Herd’s floor defense:
Our floor defense was really good for most of the match. We definitely needed it too as we were not blocking very well. You have to put a lot of that on Charlotte because they were hustling and scrapping the entire match. Keeping us guessing and taking great swings.
On the seniors getting a 20 win season:
I'm really happy for our seniors on getting a 20 win season before they graduated. They have worked so hard as have the groups in front of them. To have the 20 wins in their resume is awesome.
On the team:
There were some excellent individual performances. But most importantly was the way everyone contributed to the team win.
Marshall will host Senior Day on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. against the UTEP Miners inside the Cam Henderson Center. The Herd will celebrate the collegiate careers of seniors Allie Kellerman, Ally Kiekover, Taylor Riedel and Cassie Weaver.