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Herd Looks to Make Big Road Statement

Senior Laura Der with the assist.

Nov. 7, 2013

Match 28 – Marshall (14-13, 7-4 C-USA) at Southern Miss (13-12, 4-6 C-USA)
Friday, Nov.8 – 7 p.m. ET. Location: Hattiesburg, Miss.  
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Match 29 – Marshall (14-13, 7-4 C-USA) at Tulsa (21-4, 10-0 C-USA)
Sunday, Nov.10 – 1 p.m. ET. Location: Tulsa, Okla.
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Huntington, W.Va. – Marshall volleyball will hit the road this weekend to challenge Southern Miss and Conference USA leader Tulsa.

Marshall enters the weekend 14-13 and 7-4 in C-USA. Marshall is led by senior outside hitter Laura Der (Clarksville, Ind.), who has recorded 265 kills, averaging 3.35 per set and 245 digs this season. 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 .386 hitting percentage, having collected 259 kills.

Marshall is tied for fourth in the C-USA standings and has clinched its second consecutive berth in the C-USA Tournament. The Herd is tied with North Texas, which it defeated 3-1 in Denton, Texas, on Oct. 13. Last year’s champion, Tulsa, is leading the conference with a 10-0 league record and a 21-4 overall mark. UTSA is a close second with a 10-1 league record while Tulane sits in third with an 8-2 conference mark. The C-USA Tournament is at Middle Tennessee and is set for Nov. 21-24.



Crossing another major plateau in her career was junior setter Sammie Bane (Brownstown, Ind.), who surpassed 3,500 assists against UTEP on Nov.3. Bane’s 3,509 assists rank fourth in program history. Bane has been named C-USA Setter of the Week twice this season and four times in her career.

Der reached the 1,100-career kill plateau in her match against Charlotte on Oct. 26. Her 1,141 kills rank sixth in program history.

Senior libero Dorothy Rahal (Venice, Fla.) reached the 1,500-dig milestone also on Oct. 26, when she recorded 31. Rahal then tallied a career-high 33 digs in the next home match against UTEP on Nov.1, Rahal’s 33 digs are the most in Marshall history since the NCAA went to a 25-point per set rule in 2008, and the fourth most in history. She is second in all-time digs at Marshall.

Southern Miss enters the weekend 13-12 and 4-6 in C-USA. The Golden Eagles went over .500 for their season by defeating East Carolina, 3-0, Nov.1. USM is led offensively by sophomore middle blocker Quinci Hayward, who has tallied 367 kills, averaging 4.03 per set, while junior outside hitter Jasmine Crowell has chipped in with 231 kills. Sophomore libero Mary Pursell leads the way on defense with 427 digs, averaging 4.69 per set. The Golden Eagles are led by interim coach Amanda Berkley, who is in her fourth season with the program.

The Golden Hurricane extended its winning streak to 13 when it defeated Middle Tennessee on Friday night, 3-1. Senior middle blocker Miriele Gobbo recorded a career-high seven total blocks, 10 kills and had a .450 hitting percentage against the Blue Raiders. The Curitiba, Brazil, native was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for her efforts. Senior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson leads TU with 3.48 kills per set, which ranks 10th in the C-USA, and with 0.57 service aces per set, which leads C-USA and ranks fifth in the NCAA. The Hurricane is led by Steven McRoberts, who is in his third season as a coach.

Marshall will close its 2013 regular season schedule Friday, Nov. 15 at home against Middle Tennessee. The 7 p.m. match will help determine seeding in the C-USA Tournament.