@HerdVolleyball Sweeps UTEP on Senior Night
Seniors Ally Kiekover and Cassie Weaver led the Herd with ten kills each
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall volleyball earned its 12th sweep of the season Thursday night, blanking the UTEP Miners, 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-14), on senior night at the Cam Henderson Center.
The Thundering Herd improved to 21-7 overall and 10-3 in Conference USA. The Miners dropped to 8-20 overall and 5-9 in Conference USA with the loss.
Seniors Ally Kiekover and Cassie Weaver led the Herd with ten kills apiece. Madison Hill tallied nine kills and Jac'cara Walker added eight kills. Kiekover had a .692 hitting percentage and Hill had a .667 hitting percentage. Reigning Conference USA Freshman and Setter of the Week Madelyn Cole added 39 assists. Audrey Shannon had 11 digs and senior Allie Kellerman added ten.
UTEP took the first two points of the opening set on a pair of Herd attack errors. Marshall captured the next three points to take a 3-2 lead. The Herd and Miners exchanged points until kills by Hill and Justice Craft and an ace from Kellerman gave Marshall an 8-6 lead. UTEP remained within a couple of points of the Herd until Marshall took six consecutive points to build a 17-10 lead. Cole had a pair of aces and Weaver had a pair of kills during the Herd run. UTEP cut the Marshall lead to 21-17, but kills by Hill and Weaver helped the Herd take the first set, 25-20.
The Herd jumped out to an early 4-2 lead in the second set. UTEP took three of the next five points to cut the Marshall lead to 6-5 but a pair of kills by Hill and a pair of Miners' attacking errors pushed the Herd lead to 10-5, forcing UTEP to call a timeout. Kills by Hill and Walker pushed the Herd lead to 13-7. UTEP came within five points of the Herd multiple times in the set, but Marshall closed the set by taking the final seven points, winning the second set 25-13 and taking a 2-0 lead into the intermission. Walker, Hill, Cole and Craft each had a kill during the seven-point run.
Marshall started the third set by taking seven of the first nine points, including six consecutive points. Kiekover had three kills during the six-point run. A Kassidy Lemons' ace and a kill by Lauren Mattmuller pushed Marshall's lead to 11-4, forcing UTEP to call a timeout. UTEP cut the Marshall lead to 15-9, but Marshall took the next five points to increase the lead to 20-9, forcing the Miners to burn their final timeout. Kills by Kiekover and Weaver increased the Herd lead to 24-13. A Miners service error gave Marshall a 25-14 third set win, clinching the 12th sweep of the season for the Herd.
Quotes by head coach Mitch Jacobs
On what the four seniors have meant to the program:
"They have helped us turn the program around, and they have helped us become significant again. The groups right before them taught them how to lead and that's a big deal. They paid attention to Laura Der, Sacha Byous-McConnell and Dorothy Rahal. They were great leaders and this group of freshman, they became leaders as sophomores. They decided that they needed to learn from great people. There has been a lot of five hundred seasons, but this is the way Marshall Volleyball is supposed to be about, this is what everybody is expecting it to be. Hopefully we can continue because they are going to be a tough loss. As a whole, they have just meant so much."
"We still have one more left. We have to just stay focused. We don't know where we are going to be in the tournament yet. So we have to focus on playing against UAB, we are going to be watching their video and we are going to take care of business there. That's a team that always seems to get us at the end of the season. Whether they should or shouldn't they seem to beat us towards the end of every season. We have to remedy that; we have to make sure we are focused. We got away with one last week at Charlotte and that was a big win."
Marshall closes its regular season schedule at UAB on Saturday. First serve is set for 2 p.m. ET.