Nov. 8, 2015
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall volleyball fell to the Rice Owls in a 3-0 (17-25, 19-25, 20-25) decision in their final home game of the season.
The Herd falls to 15-12 (6-8 C-USA), while Rice improves to 19-9 (9-5 C-USA).
Marshall was paced by sophomore Taylor Pelton (Louisville, Ky.) with 10 kills. Sophomore Kayla Simmons (Gainesville, Fla.) had 31 assists, along with junior Ally Kiekover (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and senior Lauren Legge (Pliny, W. Va.), scoring seven and six kills, respectively.
The first set began with both teams trading points, but Rice held onto an advantage through the first portion of the set. Costly errors by the Herd helped Rice jump to a three-point lead. From there, the Rice attack proved to be difficult for the Herd, as it trailed 14-10, forcing Coach Mitch Jacobs to call a timeout. Coming out of the break, Rice's lead grew to 18-13. The Owls went on to claim the first set, 25-17.
Marshall jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the second set, but the Owls forced two errors on the Herd to tie the game at 2, apiece. The set would then go back-and-forth throughout, as neither team would hold a lead larger than two. Midway through the set, Rice broke away on a five point run to give itself a five-point lead. The lead wouldn't last long though for the Rice, as Marshall brought the score within one point at the 20-19 mark. After allowing Marshall to bring the game close, Rice responded with five straight points to close out the set, 25-19.
Coming out of the break, the set began much like the first, with both teams trading points to start. With the score tied at two, Rice went on a six-point streak to take a commanding 8-2 lead. Rice continued to put the pressure on the Herd, as it took its largest lead of the match at 11-4. The Owls' held the lead throughout most of the match, but Marshall began to erase the seven-point lead at the 18-13 mark. The Herd went to take the next five out of six points to bring the score to 19-18, in favor of the Owls. Marshall and Rice traded points to put the lead at 21-20. The Owls closed out the game on four straight points to give them the match victory.
Quotes from Head Coach Mitch Jacobs
On the recent performances of the team:
"I don't know what has happened since we left Texas. We just have not been the same team."
On Taylor Pelton's play:
"I was impressed the way Pelton performed this evening. Hopefully that's a good building block and a step in the right direction for this upcoming week."
On Western Kentucky, Thursday's opponent:
"Western Kentucky is a great team. They're ranked in the top 25 for a reason. They did lose to Rice recently, but responded by defeating FIU earlier this week. They'll be a major challenge for us."
On the last two matches of the season:
"We have to treat these matches like it is the conference tournament because we will not make it if we don't."
The Herd start its final road trip of the regular season on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m. to take on Western Kentucky. The Herd then finishes out in Murfreesboro, taking on Middle Tennessee on Nov. 14 at 6:00 p.m.