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Herd Looks to Top Lone Star State with Matches against Rice and Houston

Oct. 11, 2012

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The Last Meeting
October 9, 2011
Huntington, W.Va.
Volleyball Unable to Contain Rice, Lose 3-0
Marshall volleyball completed the second match of the weekend series against Rice on Sunday and were stumped by the Owl's offensive prowess, losing 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-20). Setter, Sammie Bane, picked up her second double-double of the weekend.

The Last Meeting
November 5, 2011
Houston, Texas
Houston Ends Volleyball's Win Streak in Five Sets
Marshall volleyball took their Saturday night match against Houston to a five-set decision, but the Cougars came out on top, 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 15-12).

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - As the No. 3 team in Conference USA, Marshall volleyball will be fighting for a top spot against the No. 2 ranked Rice on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. ET and then hit the road for a match against Houston at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Holding a perfect 8-0 record at home, Marshall is looking to stay on path to the most home victories in program history. The record for the most wins at home in a season is 11, set in 2004, 1996 and 1993. The last time the Herd started a season 9-0 at home was in 2005.

The Thundering Herd has won 12 of its last 13 games and books a 15-5 (5-1 C-USA) record after most recently beating ECU for the second time this season this past weekend. Marshall stands third in Conference USA rankings, trailing only Rice and Tulsa.

Marshall ranks first in Conference USA in both service aces and opponent hitting percentage and is also top five in digs and hitting percentage. Laura Der leads the offense with 275 kills and a 4.04 kill per set average, ranking the junior third amongst all C-USA hitters in the category. Der also leads the team with 22 service aces and has 199 digs.

Senior Katy Schad follows closely with 253 kills and a 3.47 kills per set average. Middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell adds 134 kills and has the second-best hitting percentage in the league with a .336 mark. Setter Sammie Bane is averaging 10.26 assists per set and has 780 set-ups for the year.

On defense, libero Dorothy Rahal has a team-high 331 digs and 4.36 digs per set. At the net, freshman middle blocker Jillian Shemanski has 75 blocks and is sixth in the conference with 1.09 blocks per set.


The Owls are tied for first in the league with Tulsa after obtatining a 13-8 (6-1 C-USA) record. Rice is on a two-match win streak after winning all six sets last weekend against UTEP and Tulane. Rice ranks in the top 75 in five different national categories, including ranking 23rd in assists per set and 32nd in kills per set. The Owls rank 41st in digs per set, 64th in hitting percentage and 56th in blocks per set.

The Owls are led on offense by Nancy Cole, who has a team-high 260 kills and a 3.56 kill per set average. Five other Owl players have over 100 kills including Laurie McNamara (186), Jillian Humphrey (174), Lizzy Bache (115), M. Riddlesprigger (110), and Megan Murphy (100). Murphy currently leads C-USA in assists with 11.07 per set and has 830 for the year. On defense, Humphrey is second in the league in blocks with 1.28 per set and 96 for the season. Daniela Arenas has 3.83 digs per game and a team-high 286 digs.


The Cougars split last weekend, taking a win over Tulane on Friday, 3-1, and losing to UTEP on Sunday, 0-3. For the season, Houston is 4-13, with three of their wins coming in the conference (3-4).

Houston is led on offense by Katie Norris with 242 kills and 3.78 kills per set. She also adds 165 digs and 32 blocks. Chandace Tryon and Stephanie Nwachukwu each add 175 and 122 kills, respectively. Tryon records a team-high .325 hitting percentage and is first on the team with 65 blocks. Setter Abby Simmons leads the team with 539 assists and 8.42 assists per set. On defense, Natalie Keck contributes 221 digs.