Sept. 10, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall volleyball lost another tough decision on Tuesday night, this one at home against East Tennessee State, 3-2 (25-20, 24-26, 25-27, 25-23, 15-11).
The Thundering Herd fell to 2-7 on the season, while the Bucs improved to 4-4 on the year.
"We just got to keep battling," Head Coach Mitch Jacobs said. "We played better at times tonight than we have and in the end I thought we got beat by a really good team. We had to capitalize in set four and didn't. We have to find a way to finish."
Freshman outside hitter Cassie Weaver (Huntington, W.Va.) opened the match for the Herd with a powerful kill. The remainder of the first set was a back-and-forth between the teams as they drew even at 16. ETSU then went on a 9-4 run to close out the set with a 25-20 victory.
The second set was neck-to-neck until the final whistle blew with the Herd victorious in a 26-24 decision. The teams were tied at nine before Marshall went on a 5-1 run midway through the set. The Bucs fought back to tie the set at 24 before a kill from Weaver and senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) took the set for the Herd.
The third set looked remarkably similar to the second set, with the Herd taking the set 27-25. The largest margin for either team was three for the set and was tied at 24 before two kills by freshman outside hitter Elyse Panick (Chicago) iced the set for the Herd.
Leading the match two sets to one, the Herd came out sluggish in the fourth set and trailed the Bucs before six ETSU errors helped the Herd go on an 8-0 run to go up 14-10. Marshall led the set 20-15 before the Bucs finished on a 10-3 run to take it 25-23.
ETSU's junior outside hitter Ivey Rice took over in the fifth set and led the Bucs with five kills during the final set. The set was tied at six before ETSU went on a 9-5 run to close the match out.
The Herd received outstanding play from Byous-McConnell, who tallied 12 kills with a .462 hitting percentage and has averaged a .550 hitting percentage in her last three matches. Weaver collected her first career double-double with a team-best 16 kills and 16 digs.
"We did have some great individual performances," Jacobs added. "Kiko (Ally Kiekover) with another 20-kill match, and Sacha going two straight matches without an error. Weaver was solid with 16 and 16 with only one reception error. I could mention some positives about each player but the bottom line is that we need to find a way to finish."
The Bucs were led by senior outside hitter Megan Devine posted a match-best 22 while hitting .358 with 14 digs. Rice also tallied 19 kills with a .359 hitting percentage.
The Herd will host its annual Thunder Invitational on Friday and Saturday when it welcomes in Kent State, Eastern Kentucky and Southern Illinois to the Cam Henderson Center. The action will get underway when Marshall plays Southern Illinois on Friday at 5 p.m.