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Fresh off its five-set victory over Morehead State, the Marshall volleyball team will hit the road once again, heading north to Loyola Chicago to take part in the Hampton Inn Rambler Challenge.
Marshall will open with a double-header Friday, taking on Georgia State at 11 a.m., before returning to the floor again at 6 p.m. to face-off with Furman. The Herd will face host institution Loyola Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
The Herd's Saturday contest with the Ramblers will be streamed live on ESPN+. Fans looking to tune in can watch via the link provided above.
Last Time Out
Marshall picked up its first win of the season Tuesday night, a 3-2 thriller over Morehead State in Gullickson Gym. Redshirt sophomore Ciara Debell
led the way for the Herd with a season-high 32 kills. Prior to the match, she had 35 for the season through the first three matches.
Debell also added eight digs and one block. Senior Lauren Mattmuller
also added 9 kills, while freshman Joelle Coulter
also chipped in 15 digs.
The Panthers currently sit at 2-1 on the season, after competing in the StarkVegas Classic, which was hosted by Mississippi State. Georgia State is led by the duo of Morgan Hash and Sydney Stroud. Hash and Stroud average 3.27 and 3.18 kills per set, respectively. The Panthers knocked off host school Mississippi State in four sets, as Stroud led the way with 18 kills and 11 digs.
Following a 3-match stand in Athens, Georgia, the Paladins enter the Hampton Inn Rambler Challenge 0-3 on the season. Junior outside hitter Nicole Mack paces Furman with 2.82 kps. The Thundering Herd last faced Furman in 2017, as part of the Rocky Top Classic, a match which Marshall won, 3-1.
The Ramblers enter Gentile Arena 1-2 overall on the year, coming off the Marriot Samford Invitational last weekend. Redshirt junior Heather Kocken enters averaging 2.40 kps, which leads Loyola, while senior outside hitter Gabi Maciagowski leads in total kills with 26. The Ramblers are 1-6 in non-conference play since 2015 and are looking to win their first season-opening tournament since September 2015, when they clinched the Demon Deacon Invitational hosted by Wake Forrest.
Quotes from head coach Mitch Jacobs
"I'm looking forward to getting back on the floor and also excited to have the Herd compete in my childhood hometown (Morton Grove, Ill.), just 15 or so minutes from where I grew up."
On Ciara Debell's 32 kill performance Tuesday night:
"Ciara's performance throughout her first week was very strong. It will be important that we not only continue to develop her role for us but also manage the amount of stress we put on her throughout the early portion of the schedule. As well, we also know it means teams will be keying on her defensively."
On Amber Webber's offseason development:
"Amber worked very hard all spring and summer to be ready for this. Her competitive drive is one I hope continues to transfer throughout our team and into every competition. We also have some very competitive minded people playing around her this season and it allows her to challenge people without being chastised for it. The season is a long journey and we have to have people on the court that can handle being challenged. This group has that and that's why I know we will continue to grow throughout the season."
On what Tuesday's come-from-behind win means for his team:
"When your group is one that plays hard and won't give up, those things can happen. It was even a cooler experience for me to see because we are so young and to see that kind of grit against a veteran team like Morehead, I just thought, was big for our kids."
On what to expect at the Hampton Inn Rambler Challenge:
"This time of year, records can be deceiving. Everyone is trying to find the right lineup, as well as having to rest key players so they don't burn them out before they get to their conference schedules. For some reason, volleyball still plays twice in a day in early season and you can't get a schedule unless you agree to it. I look forward to the day the NCAA only allows one match per competition day in our traditional seasons."
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