Sept. 3, 2010
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Elizabeth Herman connected for a match-high 21 kills to propel the Marshall University volleyball team past Hofstra University in five sets, 3-2 (25-11, 22-25, 25-19, 23-25 and 15-8) to giving the Thundering Herd its first victory of the season and head coach Mitch Jacobs' 350th career win as part of the Thundering Invitational on Friday night.
The Herd is now 1-3 on the season and knocked off the Pride for the second-straight year. Hofstra sits at 1-4.
The milestone victory for Jacobs comes in his 18th season as a collegiate head coach and owns a 350-204 overall record. At Marshall, Jacobs has compiled a 168-93 tally, the most wins in program history.
The match appeared to be an easy sweep of the Pride, as MU dominated the opening frame 25-11. Leading 11-7, the Herd exploded on a 14-4 run, including five kills from Herman. The Dunwoody, Ga., native crushed eight kills in the set, en route to a .636 (8K-IE-11TA) hitting percentage for the stanza.
"I told the team that set was too easy and they needed to be ready for the next one," Jacobs said. "You have to work all the way through the match and we didn't in second set."
After the Herd posted a .348 hitting clip in the opening frame and held Hofstra to -.154, the offense and defense did not come so easy in the second stanza. Holding a four-point edge (20-26) the Pride knotted the score at 21-all when Rachel August smoked a service ace to the back row. After a kill from Kelley Bugler gave MU a one-point cushion, Hofstra responded with a 4-0 spurt to even the match.
"The big thing is that we need to learn how to finish," Jacobs said. "We shouldn't have let game two get away. We are not playing as hard as we should be all the way through."
MU rolled in the third set, 25-19, but suffered a set-back in the fourth frame catapulting the match to a fifth and final set.
In the match deciding set, Sacha Byous-McConnell and Elizabeth Fleming found the ample time to register some kills for the Herd. A true-freshman, Byous-McConnell spiked all three of her kills in the entire match, during the fifth frame and Fleming used deception at the setter position to drop a pair of points on the Pride defense as MU captured the match with a 15-8 victory.
"Give credit to Hofstra, they scrapped and scrapped and scrapped against us," Jacobs said. "They kept playing every point and never quit against us."
Fleming finished the night with her first double-double of the season, dishing out 40 assists and collecting 13 digs. Sophomore's Katy Schad (15) and Ryanne Milligan (11) each posted double-digit dig performances, while freshman Laura Der dug 14 balls in the win.
One of the most impressive stat lines on the night went to junior middle blocker Cameron Yoho, who coach Jacobs was very pleased with her performance.
"Cameron had seven blocks tonight and one of them was the greatest block moves she has ever made for us. She hit at a .667 clip with nine kills, right now she is playing hard for us," Jacobs said.
Yoho's .667 (9K-1E-12TA) attacking percentage and seven blocks both led the Herd and the match.
Marshall is back on the court tomorrow, against High Point at 1 p.m. and Cleveland State at 7:30 p.m.
"We need to maintain our intensity and play with a lot of emotion tomorrow," Jacobs said.