Sept. 13, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Marshall volleyball marked its sixth win in a row after knocking off East Carolina in the first match of the Pirate Invitational on Thursday in Greenville, N.C. The Herd beat the Pirates 3-1 (25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16) to open up Conference USA play.
Marshall is now 9-4 (1-0 C-USA) for the season, while ECU dropped to 1-9 (0-1 C-USA).
The Herd saw a 15-set win streak end after the Pirates slipped by Marshall in the third set 25-23. Marshall hasn't had a 15-set win streak since 2007 when the Herd combined for a 17-set skid.
Sacha Byous-McConnell returned to the court after sitting out the past seven matches due to injury. The junior middle-blocker combined for the second-best hitting percentage of the season with a .429. She combined for 14 kills and committed zero errors off of 29 attacks. Byous-McConnell also led the team in blocks with two.
"Individually, Dorothy (Rahal) was fantastic again tonight and it was great to have Sacha (Byous-McConell) healthy and out there performing so strong," said head coach Mitch Jacobs. "Everyone at some point made a difference."
Junior libero Dorothy Rahal led the team in the back row with 29 digs.
Senior Katy Schad had a team-high in kills with 16 and earned her sixth double-double of the year after finishing with 14 digs. Laura Der also earned a double-double after putting up 10 kills and recording 11 digs.
"We dug a lot of balls, but had a lot of opportunities to put the ball in system and just couldn't quite execute," continued Jacobs. "It really forced Schad and Der to be creative against a big block."
Sammie Bane posted 45 assists and earned a double-double after finishing with 11 digs. The sophomore setter also led the team in service aces with four.
The Marshall defense forced ECU to commit 26 attack errors and finish with a .092 hitting percentage.
ECU was led by Nicole Willis with 16 kills and 17 digs. Kelly Derby had a team-high nine blocks for the Pirates.
"When we were in system our efficiency went way up, but give ECU a lot of credit for forcing us to defend long rallies."
Marshall will return to the court for the second match of the Pirate Invitational tomorrow at 4 p.m. The Herd will face off against Coastal Carolina for the first time since 1985.
For more information on the Pirate Invitational, visit East Carolina's Tournament Central page at ECUPirates.com.