Sept. 24, 2009
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -
The Marshall University volleyball team won its eighth straight battle of the Golden Ball Trophy against in-state rival, West Virginia, 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15), in front of 1,573 fans in the Cam Henderson Center on Wednesday night.
Marshall now stands at 13-2 on the season, while WVU falls to 10-5. MU holds a 28-15 advantage against the Mountaineers in the all-time series. Head Coach Mitch Jacobs is a perfect 8-0 in Golden Ball matches.
"It is one of the most important games of the year," head coach Mitch Jacobs said. "We take it very seriously and the fans of Huntington take it as the most intense game. We have never seen a crowd like this. I hope the fans had a good time and come back."
The match was in front of the largest recorded crowd this season for a MU volleyball home game at 1,573.
"The crowd size surpassed what I expected," Jacobs said. "I give Isaiah Childers and the marketing staff a lot of credit. They got people out here, pumped it up and everyone was waving the towels, which made for an outstanding atmosphere."
After splitting the first two sets, the Herd came out on fire in the third frame, forcing WVU into timeouts when trailing 6-2 and 13-6. The lead would balloon to as much as nine points, 20-11, before the Mountaineers could inch their way back into the match. After a timeout at 23-16, MU was able to score the last two points, including a kill from Elizabeth Fleming to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
WVU continued to fight in the fourth set, taking an 8-4 advantage into MU's first timeout. Trailing 8-6, Ryanne Milligan tallied two straight aces, she had a career-high four on the night, to knot the score at 8-all. After trading points, and the score tied at 10, the Herd would close out the match on a 15-5 run; highlighted by back-to-back service aces from Kristin Marcum to keep the Golden Ball trophy for an eighth-straight season.
Emily Sullivan, Elizabeth Herman and Kristin Marcum continued to provide a balanced attack on the offensive side of the court. Sullivan and Herman tied for match-high honors with 14 kills each, while Marcum sported a double-double of 12 kills and 11 digs. It marked her sixth double-double of the season. Sullivan chipped in with five block assists and a pair of digs, with Herman adding four digs and a block assist.
Fleming recorded her team-best seventh double-double of the season with a match-high 44 assists and 10 digs, along with four kills and two block assists. It marked the ninth time this season that Fleming has surpassed the 40 assist plateau.
Milligan added a match-high 16 digs, along with four service aces. Katy Schad contributed eight kills and nine digs, while Cameron Yoho collected five kills on the night.
For the Mountaineers, Kari Post totaled a double-double with 33 assists and 13 digs. Bonnie West also registered 13 digs, while Lauren Evans led the WVU offense with nine kills.
SCHEDULE NOTE: The Marshall Volleyball game on Friday, Sept. 25, has been changed to 6 p.m. against Southern Miss at the Cam Henderson Center.