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Herd Looks to Keep the Golden Ball

Dorothy Rahal with the dig.

Oct. 27, 2013

Match 23 – Marshall (13-11, 7-2 C-USA) at West Virginia (16-7, 2-6 Big 12)
Tuesday, Oct. 29 – 6:30 p.m. ET. Location: Morgantown, W.Va.  
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Huntington, W.Va. – Marshall volleyball will take a break from Conference USA action to travel to Morgantown, W.Va. to take on West Virginia, Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Battle for the Golden Ball.

Marshall enters the Golden Ball match 13-11 and 7-2 in C-USA. The Thundering Herd is seeking its fifth-consecutive victory after earning a season-high fourth-straight victory against Charlotte.

Marshall is led by senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.), who has recorded 231 kills, averaging 3.4 per set and 223 digs. Also leading the charge for the Herd is senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), who is third in the conference with a .384 hitting percentage, having collected 223 kills.

Coach Mitch Jacobs is 9-1 all-time against the Mountaineers, including a 3-1 victory in its last meeting in 2011. WVU owns a 27-16 all-time advantage over Marshall in the Battle for the Golden Ball.

Senior outside hitter Laura Der reached the 1,100-career kill plateau in her match against Charlotte Oct. 26. Her 1,107 kills for her career ranks sixth in program history.

Senior libero Dorothy Rahal reached the 1,500-dig milestone Oct. 26 against Charlotte when she recorded a career-high 31 digs. Rahal’s 31-digs was the most in Marshall history since the NCAA went to a 25-point per set rule in 2008. She is second in all-time digs at Marshall.

Also crossing a major plateau was junior setter Sammie Bane, who surpassed 3,000 assists for her career at FAU on Sept. 27. Bane’s 3,356 assists ranks fourth in program history.

Senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell is third in Conference USA with a .384 hitting percentage. She has collected 223 kills on the season, averaging 2.72 kills per set. Byous-McConnell is third in all-time hitting percentage with a .293 hitting efficiency for her career.

Junior setter Sammie Bane earned Conference USA Setter of the Week honors for the second time this season on Oct. 20. Bane led Marshall to a pair of straight-set victories last weekend. She dished out 81 assists over the two-matches with a .415 set percentage. The junior averaged 13.5 assists per set and led the team to a .249 hitting percentage for the week. She had previously won it on Sept. 30 for her performances against Florida Atlantic and FIU (Sept. 27 & 29).

West Virginia enters the Golden Ball match 16-7 and 2-6 in the Big 12. The Mountaineers started the season with 10-striaght victories but have went 6-7 since including losing their last three conference matches. WVU is led by freshman outside hitter Jordan Anderson, who has tallied 259 kills, averaging 3.98 kills per set and 176 digs. Also leading the way on the defensive end is Anna Panagiotakopoulos, who has collected 337 digs, averaging 4.21 digs per set. WVU is led by fourth year coach Jill Kramer.

Marshall will welcome UTEP and UTSA to the Cam Henderson Center on Nov. 1 and 3 to continue C-USA action.