Sept. 12, 2013
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall volleyball will host its fifth Thunder Invitational this weekend. The two-day event will be played in Cam Henderson Center and starts on Friday, Sept. 13.
Marshall will face Southern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky and Kent State. The Thundering Herd opens Friday at 5 p.m. against Southern Illinois, then play Eastern Kentucky at noon Saturday and Kent State to conclude the Invitational at 7:30 p.m.
For more information on the Invitational, visit volleyball's Tournament Central page.
Senior middle blocker Sacha Byous-McConnell (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) ranks fifth in Conference USA with a .354 hitting percentage, and has collected 84 kills while freshman middle blocker Ally Kiekover (Grand Rapids, Mich.) has 100 kills, averaging 2.78 per set. She has 22 total blocks (6 solo, 16 assisted).
Coming off the best performance of her young career is freshman outside hitter Cassie Weaver (Huntington). She recorded 16 kills and 21 digs to earn her first double-double against East Tennessee State.
Junior setter Sammie Bane has tallied a conference-best 368 assists while placing fifth in assists per set with 10.22. The Herd's defensive anchor, senior libero Dorothy Rahal, has collected 129 digs averaging 3.58 per set.
Scouting the Salukis
Southern Illinois enters the weekend 3-5 after defeating Saint Louis on Wednesday night. The Salukis are led by senior outside hitter Jessica Whitehead, who has 115 kills while averaging 3.83 per set and 17 blocks (5 solo, 12 assisted). SIU coach Justin Ingram is in his second year with the program. This is the first meeting between the Herd and the Salukis.
Scouting the Colonels
Eastern Kentucky enters the weekend 4-3 after dropping all three matches in the Arizona Invitational. EKU defeated visiting Marshall 3-1 on Sept. 2. The Colonels are led by senior outside hitter Ashley Edmond, who has tallied 98 kills while averaging 3.63 per set. She has 71 digs. EKU coach Lori Duncan is in her 16th year with the program. The Colonels lead the all-time series with the Herd, 20-5.
Scouting the Golden Flashes
Kent State enters the weekend 1-5 after dropping its last five contests. The Golden Flashes are led by freshman outside hitter Bianca Cifaldi, who has posted 60 kills while averaging 2.73 per set. Cifaldi was named to the Fullerton Classic all-tournament team this past weekend. KSU coach Don Gromala is in his second year with the program. The Marshall-Kent State series is tied 7-7.