Nov. 20, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
During the 2008 regular season, the Southern Miss volleyball team defeated Marshall both times they play. On Thursday evening in the Elma Roane Fieldhouse, the Thundering Herd made sure the third time was the charm as 10th-seeded Marshall upset the No. 7 seed Golden Eagles, 3-0, in the third match of the 2008 Conference USA Championship.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH 3_MARSHALL 3_SOUTHERN MISS 0
Marshall squeaked out a two-point win in the opening set, 25-23, but rolled to 25-19 and 25-13 victories in the next two stanzas to improve to 13-14 on the year and advance to play second-seeded UAB (23-5) on Thursday at 5 p.m. Southern Miss, meanwhile, concludes its season at 17-13.
Megan Carlson and Kristin Marcum led a balanced Herd offense with 11 kills each while Jalicia Ross and Emily Sullivan followed closely with 10 and seven kills, respectively. The story of the match, however, was defense as Marshall out-dug Southern Miss, 53-43, posted 11.5 blocks to the Eagles' 6.0 and held the higher seed to a .046 attack percentage (27-22-108).
Carlson and Marcum posted double-doubles with 13 and 12 digs, respectively, to go along with their kill totals, and Jessica Dhoore joined them in the double-digit dig club with 12 of her own. Marcum led all players with five blocks (two solo, three assists) while Sullivan (one solo, three assists) and Layne Keihl (four assists) posted four apiece.
Lauren Sears led Southern Miss with six kills while Kelsea Seymour posted a double-double with 19 assists and a team-high 12 digs. Sarah Jane Bowden led the Golden Eagles' front-row defense with three block assists.
Marshall Head Coach Mitch Jacobs
Thoughts on the team's performance
"It was possibly the most focused we've been in a long time. We were playing some really good ball in the first four or five weeks of the season, and then it kind of just slipped away. You get into a rut, and one day doesn't change the world, but we've won three of four now. We've just got to keep playing strong."
Thoughts on playing UAB on Friday
"It's a big task. They are a fantastic team. Anybody who can beat Tulane is just a great team. We've played them well, but not well enough to win. We've got a big task ahead of us. They've got a lot of experience."
"Liz Fleming diversifying our offense was a big deal. Just the fact that she wasn't being predictable with our patterns of offense was a big start. Being young, we've tried to be unpredictable. It's starting to come together. Hopefully, it's not too late. Liz Fleming was fantastic tonight. I thought Emily Sullivan, although she had a tough offensive night, made a big difference with us in front of their left side attackers. Jess Dhoore and Megan Carlson were both good. Everybody just did their job."
Southern Miss Head Coach Ricci Luyties Quotes
Overall impressions of the match
"I thought that Marshall played a really good match. Their strategy against us seemed to work really well and they seemed to be onto everything we were trying to do. With that, I thought we probably played one of our worst matches of the season. I don't know if it was nerves from a lot of our young players or things just didn't go our way. I don't think that is the best our team can play and I am disappointed to end the year this way."
What our some of your thoughts on tonight being the end to your season?
"I thought we had a pretty good season. This team is very young. We didn't know what to expect coming into this year. They really have played well and have battled in games. Overall, I have been very happy with what we have done this year. But, to come in now and play like we did tonight was disappointing."
On the Team's Youth
"Obviously we have a lot of young players. I looked out on the court tonight and at one point we had five freshmen out there. I think our future is good here. I think the players that we have are going to continue to get better. I think Southern Miss will be a factor next year."
On Seniors Stevi Cherry and Ashley Petrinec
"Ashley Petrinec has started for four seasons for us. She was really my first recruit coming in here and she has done a great job. She is a double-double type of player for us. Stevi Cherry has had her matches where she has been fantastic for us. At the beginning of the year she was really good and she had some streaks. Tonight was not her best match, but overall her career has been fun to watch."