Sep 6, 2013
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CHICAGO - Marshall volleyball dropped a five-set decision to UIC on Friday night in the first match of the UIC Invitational, 3-2 (22-25, 28-26, 23-25, 25-21, 13-15).
The Thundering Herd slipped to 1-5 on the season, while the Flames improved to 2-3 on the year.
“I’m impressed with our continued development to learn how to compete,” Head Coach Mitch Jacobs said. “We are still taking some plays off and we must keep developing. Our focus right now has to be on finishing."
Marshall ended the match with a .239 hitting percentage while UIC hit .247. The Herd out blocked the Flames by converting on 12 total team blocks to their nine blocks. The Herd has out-blocked its opponent in three consecutive matches.
The Marshall squad received brilliant play from freshman outside hitter Cassie Weaver (Huntington, W.Va.), who tallied a career-best in kills (16), hitting percentage (.467) and digs (nine).
“Cassie Weaver was fantastic tonight and Dorothy (Rahal) really gave some great leadership and solid play,” added Jacobs.
Senior libero, Dorothy Rahal (Venice, Fla), tallied a match-best 26 digs, while junior setter Sammie Bane (Brownstown, Ind.) collected a team-high 56 assists. Senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) posted her best match of the season by tallying 12 kills with a .286 hitting percentage.
Freshman middle blocker Ally Kiekover (Grand Rapids, Mich.) collected a team season-best seven total blocks and posted 12 kills en route to a .323 hitting percentage. She also collected seven digs.
The Flames also received outstanding play from one of their freshmen. Freshman outside hitter Kara Johnson collected a double-double by posting a match-high 20 kills and collecting 13 digs. Junior outside hitter Molly McCoy also came up huge for UIC by tallying 19 kills en route to a .429 hitting percentage.
Marshall had the first set in its grips when it went up 14-6 on the Flames before UIC countered by taking 13 of the next 19 points. UIC went on by taking six of the next nine points to win the set 25-22. The tides turned in the second set when UIC went up on the Herd 4-0 before Marshall rallied to even the match at 4 all. The rest of the set was neck and neck before the Herd ultimately won, 28-26.
In the third set, both teams battled to tie at 10 apiece before a UIC run pushed the Flames ahead 18-13. Marshall rallied back to tie the set at 22 before dropping the set 25-23. Marshall was dominate early in the fourth set after it was tied at 3 by not relinquishing the lead until UIC took a two-point lead 21-19. The Herd then sent a strong message by taking the final six points.
In the decisive set, both team fought hard and the set was tied at 10 apiece, before UIC went on a 5-3 run to claim victory for the Flames.
“Our record is terrible, but we are so close to figuring it out, Jacobs added. “We have four and five freshmen and sophomores on the court at a time. It’s going to take a some time.”
Marshall will continue play in the UIC Invitational against Denver and Chicago State on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.