MCGILL: Volleyball Seniors Climb Record Books Together
The Word on the Herd -- Oct. 7, 2016
By Chuck McGill
As the next Conference USA matches loom – home vs. UTSA on Sunday (Noon) and home vs. FIU on Tuesday (6:30 p.m.) – those three team leaders are rapidly climbing the all-time charts.
The Thundering Herd’s coach, Mitch Jacobs, said a player needs to play early and often in order to invade the record books by their senior season.
“One, they’ve been performing and contributing since they were young players, since they were freshmen and sophomores,” Jacobs said. “That leads to overall numbers.
“Two, they’re old. That leads to more numbers. They’re major contributors for us. The fact that they’re gaining this and doing this together, it’s kind of cool.”
Marshall is 13-5 overall and 2-1 in C-USA play. Including Sunday’s regularly scheduled match at the Henderson Center and Tuesday’s home match, which was rescheduled from Friday because of Hurricane Matthew, the Herd has 11 matches remaining. There’s still plenty of time to rack up numbers.
Kellerman enters Sunday’s match with 1,476 digs, which ranks her No. 3 all-time behind Maggie Arias (2004-07, 1,758 digs) and Dorothy Rahal (2010-13, 1,662). Kellerman is averaging 4.72 digs per set, so she has a chance to climb higher on that list.
“It is special to see your teammates rewarded,” Kellerman said. “You know how hard they work for it. We’ve been through a lot in four years. I think any recognition is well-deserved. It’s awesome to see.”
While Kellerman deflected her own personal achievements and credited others, Jacobs call her the team’s “court leader.” That is an essential role in a season where four freshmen are seeing significant playing time.
“It’s amazing to learn from (the seniors),” said freshman Madelyn Cole. “We see the work they put in and we see the outcome, so we want to put in that work, too.”
Kiekover passed the 1,000-kill mark this season in the second set vs. Jacksonville on Sept. 16, and has 1,031 kills entering Sunday’s play. She ranks No. 8 on the program’s all-time list, one spot behind classmate Weaver.
“Ally Kiekover is like a security blanket for us there,” Jacobs said. “She’s high energy; she’s always moving.”
Weaver is on an exclusive list: 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. Only five players in program history have accomplished that feat. She is No. 7 all-time in kills (1,073) and on the doorstep of the top 10 all-time in digs. Katie Schad (2009-11) is 10th with 1,173 career digs and Weaver, averaging 2.53 digs per set, could catch her.
“I’ve never really gotten an award the past three years so I never realized how decently I’ve been playing,” Weaver said. “It’s nice to be able to be recognized for working hard.”
“She passes six rotations for us,” Jacobs said of Weaver. “Six-rotation players in today’s game is getting harder and harder to find. She is just another reason the team is starting to move to another level.”