Volleyball Sweeps Marshall

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    West Virginia Sweeps Marshall

    For the first time since 2010, the West Virginia University volleyball team recorded a 3-0 sweep over in-state rival Marshall on Tuesday evening at Cam Henderson Center in Huntington. The Mountaineers, who took the match in set scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-22, claimed the Golden Ball Trophy for the first time since 2015 and picked up a win in Huntington for the first time since 2000.

    The Mountaineers, who move to 8-2 on the season, have now won six straight.

    “I thought it was a good win for us,” coach Reed Sunahara said. “Marshall is always a scrappy team, and they’re much better than their record indicates. We weren’t perfect, but I like the way we persevered, especially in the third set.”

    Sophomore outside hitter Katelyn Evans led the Mountaineers for the second straight match, hitting .458 with 11 kills and no errors. Fellow hitter Payton Caffrey had nine kills, as did senior middle blocker Mia Swanegan, who hit .316. Freshman middle Katie DeMeo hit .300 with six kills.

    Sophomore setter Erin Slinde had 36 assists and paired with Swanegan to lead the blocking effort with five stops apiece. DeMeo added four blocks, while sophomore right side Natania Levak had a pair of blocks and four kills.

    Freshman libero Alexa Hasting had a team-high 12 digs, while freshman defensive specialist Ava Richards added 10. Fellow freshman defensive specialist Lindsay Proctor had six digs, while Caffrey and Slinde each added five. Slinde has had a pair of aces for the Mountaineers.

    West Virginia finished the match hitting .293 with 40 kills and 10 team blocks. Marshall (3-9, 0-0 C-USA) hit .108 with 35 kills and six blocks.

    Evans provided the bulk of the WVU offense in the first set, scoring seven of the 14 Mountaineer kills in the 25-19 win. She used a trio of early kills, along with another from Levak, to put WVU ahead 5-3 before the Herd came back to tie the set at 7-7 on a block. Evans put another through the pins before back-to-back Marshall errors pushed the Mountaineers ahead 15-12. Swanegan added a kill, while DeMeo and Slinde paired for a block as West Virginia took an 18-13 advantage on a Herd attacking error. Evans and Swanegan each added another kill before three straight Marshall errors gave WVU the win for a 1-0 lead in the match.

    The Mountaineers struggled in the second set, finding themselves on the wrong end of the 6-2 score after consecutive aces by the Herd. Swanegan and Slinde each had a pair of kills as they worked their way back into the set before Slinde added back-to-back service aces to give WVU the 11-10 lead. Three straight Marshall errors put the Mountaineer back on top 15-12 before WVU posted a trio of blocks on a 5-0 run, taking a 20-15 lead on a block from Caffrey and Swanegan. Attacking errors on the Herd again put the set away for West Virginia, who took a 25-19 win for a 2-0 lead.

    WVU got off to a rocky start in the third set, falling behind 5-2 after a 4-0 Marshall run. The Herd went on to score three more in a row, taking a 12-6 lead and forcing WVU into a timeout. Caffrey came out of the stoppage swinging, recording a trio of kills before DeMeo and Slinde paired for a block to bring WVU within three, down 13-10. A kill by Levak started a run on which the Mountaineers rattled off five straight, claiming and 18-17 lead on an ace from Richards. The teams traded points before a WVU service error and a Marshall kill put the Thundering Herd on top, 21-19. The Mountaineers countered with three straight kills, regaining a 22-21 lead after DeMeo put one down. WVU was called for a double to tie the score once again, but the Herd committed three straight errors as West Virginia claimed the 25-22 victory for the 3-0 win.

    The Mountaineers head to their final nonconference tournament this weekend when they travel to West Point, New York, for the Black Knight Classic. WVU will face Akron at 11 a.m. on Friday before taking on host Army at 7 p.m. that evening. The team will conclude the tournament at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday against Providence.



    It’s early, obviously, but it’s good to see this program growing. Along with baseball and maybe wrestling, this was one of the ones I was curious to see make the Big 12 transition.

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