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Conference Showdown on Senior Night

Senior outside hitter Laura Der with a big kill against UTSA.

Nov. 13, 2013

Match 30 – Middle Tennessee (17-10, 8-4 C-USA) at Marshall (14-15, 7-6 C-USA)  
Friday, Nov.15 – 7 p.m. ET. Location: Huntington, W.Va. 
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Huntington, W.Va. Marshall volleyball will close the 2013 regular season against Conference USA foe Middle Tennessee on Friday, Nov. 15 at Cam Henderson Center at 7 p.m. ET.

Marshall enters the match 14-15 and 7-6 in Conference USA and is led by senior outside hitter Laura Der, who has recorded 295 kills, averaging 3.39 per set, and 275 digs. Also leading the charge for the Herd is senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell, who is third in the conference with a .371 hitting percentage, having collected 276 kills.

Friday’s match marks Senior Night, and MU will honor three terrific seniors – Der, Byous-McConnell and Dorothy Rahal. All of these players have left their marks on the Marshall program. Byous-McConnell is one of the more efficient players to play for the Herd while Rahal is one of the best liberos to don a kelly green and white jersey. Der’s name will be plastered in the Marshall record book for many years, since she is in the top 10 in five career categories.



Senior Middle Blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell
A native of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Byous-McConnell has become a dominant force at the net for the Thundering Herd. The 6-foot-2 middle blocker is third in program history with a career .296 hitting percentage and has tallied 860 kills in 107 matches. She has collected 226 total blocks (177 assisted, 49 solo). Byous-McConnell is third in Conference USA this season with a .371 hitting percentage, which also ranks second in single-season hitting percentage in Herd history. She is majoring in exercise science and was named to the C-USA Honor Roll a year ago.

Senior libero Dorothy Rahal
A native of Venice, Fla., Rahal is arguably one of the best liberos in program history and has been a staple on the Thundering Herd back line for four years. She has played in 120 matches and has compiled 1,623 digs, ranking second in program history. She is 135 digs shy of breaking Maggie Arias’ record of 1,758. Rahal’s 525 digs during the 2012 season were five shy of the most in Marshall history, and she has recorded the best digs-per-set average in program history with 4.45. She received C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors once in 2012. She is majoring in secondary education and was named to the C-USA Honor Roll last season.

Senior Outside Hitter Laura Der
A native of Clarksville, Ind., Der has made it a point to leave behind a legacy on and off the court at Marshall. Der is a two-year captain and has earned many accolades during her four-year career in Huntington. Among those are All-Conference USA first team honors in 2012, C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, AVCA All-Midwest Honorable Mention Team, C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll every year, Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal in 2012 and earning Capital One Academic All-District First Team honors last week. She will join Bridget Repsher (1991-94) as the only Marshall players in history to finish in the top five in both kills and digs for a career. Der will finish with over 1,200 kills and digs in her outstanding playing career at Marshall. She also will finish in the top 10 in service aces, kills per set and total attempts. Der has collected 295 kills in 2013, averaging 2.86 kills per set and tallying 275 digs. Der is majoring in advertising with minors in Spanish and sport management.

Scouting the Blue Raiders
Middle Tennessee enters the match 17-10 (8-4 C-USA). The Blue Raiders have won their last three matches. Leading the way for Middle is Chelsea Ross, who has tallied 337 kills and averaging 3.37 kills per set and 252 digs. Jale Hervey has chipped in with 305 kills, averaging 3.05 per set. Kendall Howard leads the defense with 348 digs, averaging 4.14 per set. The Blue Raiders are coached by Matt Peck, who is in his 10th season with the program.