@HerdVolleyball Earns Fifth-Straight Win at UAB
The Herd finishes the regular season with a 22-7 overall record
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Marshall volleyball clinched its fifth-straight win on Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-10, 25-18) win over the UAB Blazers at the Bartow Arena.
With the win, Marshall improves to a 22-7 overall record and 11-3 in Conference USA. UAB falls to 11-19 (3-11 C-USA).
Senior Cassie Weaver paced the Thundering Herd with her 11th double-double of the season. The Huntington, W.Va., native had 16 kills and 14 digs. Freshman Jac’cara Walker and senior Ally Kiekover had 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Kiekover tied a career-high for blocks with eight. Freshman Madelyn Cole had a team-high 39 assists. Senior Allie Kellerman led the Herd with 16 digs.
In the first set of the match, Marshall jumped out to an early 4-1 lead following two UAB attack errors and kills by Justice Craft and Weaver. The Thundering Herd eventually pushed its lead to four points at the 12-8 mark after a Madison Hill kill. The lead didn’t last as UAB rallied and went on an eight-point run to take a 16-12 lead. The Herd was able to cut the deficit to three points, but that was the closest it got to the Blazers. UAB took the first set, 25-21.
UAB took an early 3-1 lead in the second frame, but Marshall quickly responded and tied it at three, apiece. From there, neither gained a three-point advantage until the 13-10 lead for Marshall. Following an attacking error by UAB and two kills for the Blazers, Marshall went on a five-point run to take a 19-12 lead. UAB cut into its deficit and pulled the set within four at 19-15, but Marshall answered and regained its seven-point lead at 22-15. The Blazers went on to score five of seven points to put the set at 24-20. A Walker kill closed the frame for the Herd, 25-20.
Marshall stormed out to a 10-0 third set lead out of the intermission. Walker and Kiekover tallied three kills apiece during the ten point run. After the teams split the next ten points, kills by Kiekover and Walker started a four-point Marshall run to increase the Herd lead to 19-6. UAB took two of the next three points to cut the Herd lead to 20-9 but Marshall responded by taking five of the final six points of the set to take the third set, 25-10, and take a 2-1 lead. Weaver had three kills in the final five points for the Herd.
The Herd raced out to an early 7-2 lead to begin the fourth set, forcing UAB to call a timeout. Kiekover and Walker had two kills apiece during the run. After splitting the next four points, a kill by Kiekover and a service ace from Audrey Shannon increased the Herd lead to 11-4. Marshall took six of the next eight points to increase its lead to 17-6. Weaver and Lauren Mattmuller each recorded kills during the run. UAB took five of the next seven points to cut the Marshall lead to 20-12 but kills by Kiekover and Cole increased the lead to nine points, 22-13. UAB took five of the next six points to cut the Herd lead to 23-18 but kills by Weaver and Taylor Pelton closed out the match. The Herd took the fourth set, 25-18, to win the match, 3-1.
Quotes by head coach Mitch Jacobs
On the match:
We came right out and started fast then slowed down in a hurry. But I thought we gained some momentum at the end of set one. That carried into a tough set two win and then our confidence began to soar. Very proud that we maintained that confidence throughout the rest of the match. Now we will take a look at results and see where we end up.
On the season and looking forward:
It's been a remarkable season for this group. I know they out did most people's expectations but we felt as a whole we could be pretty good. I'm so proud of these guys for fighting together and now we need to bring that fight and play a lot better in Rice's gym than we did the last time.
Marshall heads to the 2016 Conference USA Volleyball Championship hosted by Rice.