Nov. 15, 2012
CONFERENCE USA TOURNAMENT CENTRAL (Live Stats & Video)
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Following a two-year hiatus of the Conference USA tournament, the league has reinstated the championship and Marshall volleyball enters the event as the No. 6 seed. The Thundering Herd will play in the first round on Friday at 8 p.m. ET against No. 3 seed UCF.
The tournament is being hosted by Tulsa in the Donald W. Reynolds Center and will continue for the duration of the weekend, with the championship match being featured on CBS Sports Network on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
Earlier in the season, Marshall split the series with UCF, defeating the Knights 3-2 in late September and losing in late October, 3-1.
The two teams have only faced off in Conference USA post-season play one time before. The Herd knocked off the Knights from the first round in 2005, 3-2.
Through Marshall's eight-year span with the league, the volleyball program has won the conference tournament one time. Former All-American Kelly-Anne Billingy earned 28 kills in a 3-2 victory over Houston in 2005 to send Marshall to the NCAA tournament and give Marshall athletics its first C-USA championship title.
C-USA All-Conference (first team) selection Laura Der leads Marshall in kills, points, service aces and is third in digs. She ranks No. 24 in NCAA in kills and points with 4.34 kills per set and 4.92 points per set.
Sophomore setter Sammie Bane was recently selected to the 12-member C-USA All-Academic team and leads Marshall in assists, earning 10.54 assists per set, ranking third in the league in the category.
On defense, libero Dorothy Rahal books 4.46 digs per set, while C-USA All-Freshman team selection Jillian Shemanski leads the team in blocks with 0.96 per set, recording 96.0 for the season.
A LOOK AT UCF
The Knights finished the regular season with two wins last weekend, defeating UAB and Memphis. With a 14-14 (11-5 C-USA) record, UCF earns the No. 3 seed for the Conference USA tournament. Angelica Crum leads the team with 318 kills (3.15 k/s), while Ashley Gialenios, Evija Vilde and DeLaina Sarden each have over 200 kills as well. Marie Reiterova is the primary setter, earning 8.62 assists per set and Dana Faught adds 264 assists for the year. On defense, six different players have over 100 digs, but Meredith Murphy leads the team with 439. Sarden leads the team at the net with 105 blocks for the year.