Marshall Recaptures Golden Ball, Defeats West Virginia In Four Games
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Golden Ball is back in Marshall’s possession after a four game victory over intrastate rival West Virginia Saturday night, 3-1 (30-26, 30-22, 27-30, 30-25). The Thundering Herd improved to 7-4, while WVU fell to 3-7. The seven wins is the most for Marshall volleyball since 1999, when they posted 15 wins.
Marshall grabbed game one behind an outstanding performance by Heidi Kuethe (Normal, Ill.), who had five kills in seven attacks in game one. WVU rebounded from an early Marshall run, tying the game at 24 when Tracey King’s (Miami, Fla.) attack attempt went into the net. Both teams battled back and forth, and with the game tied at 26, King served four straight points to give the Thundering Herd game one.
The Herd were never threatened in game two as they came away with a 30-22 win. However, WVU responded positively after the first two games, jumping on MU midway through the third game as they reeled off four straight points, pushing a then 12-12 game to 16-12. MU made a run of their own to tie the game at 17. A see-saw battled ensued from there until the end of the game, when Julie Hockenson put the game away with Grace Jones (Lakeland, Fla.) serving.
In the deciding game four, Marshall took the lead on a Jones kill to make the score 10-9 and never looked back. Lindsay Spieler ended the Mountaineers night when her serve fell into the net.
MU had an outstanding game from Jones and Kuethe, two seniors. Jones finished with 11 kills, no errors, and 13 attempts, a hitting percentage of .846. Kuethe hit for .440, knocking down 14 balls on 25 attempts, with only three errors. Freshman Katie Stein (Sussex, Wis.) had 54 assists.
WVU was led by Hockenson, who had 14 kills. Dimitra Havriluk also had 14 kills.
The Thundering Herd return to action on Tuesday night with a home match against Morehead State. That match begins at 7 p.m.