Nov. 23, 2013
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Murfreesboro, Tenn. – Marshall volleyball dropped a 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-20) match to top-seeded UTSA on Saturday at Alumni Memorial Gym in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament.
“Today we played very well offensively,” coach Mitch Jacobs said. “About as well as we have all year against that quality of a team. We had our chances and UTSA just kept making the better play. I’m very proud that we fought until the last ball dropped.”
The Thundering Herd closed out the C-USA Tournament with an overall record of 16-16 while UTSA improved to 24-7 on the season. The Roadrunners advance to the C-USA Championship on Sunday and await the winner of Tulsa vs. Tulane.
Marshall was led offensively by senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.) who tallied 13 kills with six digs, while freshman outside hitter Cassie Weaver (Huntington, W.Va.) finished with 11 kills and a .474 hitting percentage. Junior setter Sammie Bane (Brownstown, Ind.) collected 40 assists and a team-best eight digs.
The Roadrunners were led by C-USA Player of the Week Mackenzie Adams, who recorded 19 kills with a .375 hitting percentage and seven digs. Setter Jessica Waldrip finished with 42 assists while libero Annie Kunes tallied 12 digs.
The Marshall squad was able to trade points early in the first set and things were knotted at six all. UTSA went on a 3-0 run to force the Herd into a timeout, trailing 9-6. The Roadrunners kept the momentum and forced Marshall into a second timeout down 17-12. The Herd was able to close the set out by trading the next 16 points but never was able to put a strong run together and fell 25-20 in the first frame.
The second set started much like the first as each team went back-and-forth and things were squared at 15 all. UTSA was able to go on a 6-2 run to force Jacobs into a timeout, trailing 21-17. Marshall called an additional timeout after each team traded a point. The Roadrunners were unable to be slowed down by the Herd and took four of the last six points to win the set, 25-21.
Marshall came out as the aggressor after intermission and jumped out to a 2-0 lead to start the third set. UTSA countered and the team went to war, trading points with neither team taking more than a two point advantage until the Herd was able to go up 20-17. The Roadrunners sped back with three straight points to knot things at 20. Marshall was unable to keep up with the pace of UTSA and the Roadrunners closed the set on an 8-3 run to win the final set, 25-23.
“I just can’t believe that I’m not coaching these three seniors anymore,” Jacobs said. “I just hope I taught them half as much as they’ve taught me.