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Marshall volleyball falters against ETSU

Sep. 11, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Just when Marshall's volleyball team had its collective foot on the throat of East Tennessee State on Tuesday night, the Herd simply couldn't go for the kill.

Attack errors and mental breakdowns in the fourth set allowed the Bucs to overcome a large deficit and ETSU used the momentum from the swing to power to a 3-2 comeback win over Marshall in the 2013 home opener for the Herd at Cam Henderson Center.

"We erred out of the game again...," Marshall coach Mitch Jacobs said. "Until we clean that mess up, then that's where we're going to be at the end of sets -- we're going to tighten up and error out. That's just not how you win volleyball matches."

The Herd led 22-17 in the fourth set and needed just three points to close out what would have been an important win to kick off the home portion of the season.

However, the Herd went through a stretch where they had four attack errors in a six-point stretch that allowed the Bucs to turn a five-point deficit into a lead. ETSU went on to win the set 25-23.

That momentum carried into the fifth where the Bucs were dominant, hitting at a .562 clip as Marshall (2-7) struggled to regain its fundamental composure after the lost opportunity of the fourth set.

"We had a jump on them, we had a big lead and we've got to keep playing," Jacobs said. "We've got to stop standing. We love to play a ball and stand and watch. We've been talking about it since the very first day of practice. That's this team's personality right now."

ETSU's Ivey Rice provided the onslaught before teammate Megan Devine capped the match with a kill to give the Bucs a 15-11 win in the fifth and final set.

Jacobs said that after the big momentum swing, the Herd players

The collapse in the fourth set was a surprising one, considering that Marshall had seized control by playing at a high level in the early stages of the set.

ETSU led 10-6 when Marshall setter Sammie Bane surprised the Bucs front line when she took an early ball and killed it.

From there, Marshall went on to score 12 of the next 14 points to take its biggest advantage in the set at 18-12.

Marshall grabbed a 2-1 lead in the match following a 27-25 win in the third set. It was the Herd's best set of the match as the team registered 20 kills and got into an offensive rhythm with a .381 hitting percentage.

ETSU jumped out to a one-set lead in the first set after earning a 25-20 win, but the Herd rebounded with a 26-24 win in the second to even the match.

Ally Kiekover led Marshall with 20 kills while Cassie Weaver finished with a double-double, collecting 16 kills and 16 digs. Sacha Byous-McConnell ended the match with 12 kills and zero hitting errors for the Herd, who returns to action this weekend with the Thunder Invitational.

The Herd will take on Southern Illinois at 5 p.m. on Friday evening before a Saturday doubleheader in which the Herd faces Eastern Kentucky at noon and Kent State at 7:30 p.m.

Devine led ETSU with 22 kills and 14 digs while Ivey Rice and Meredith Hardy added 18 and 12 kills respectively.

ETSU (3) 25 24 25 25 15

MARSHALL (2) 20 26 27 23 10

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