In addition to winning the Aggie Classic title and not dropping a single game in two matches of volleyball action on Saturday at the Corbett Sports Center, Marshall ascended on the Mid-American Conference record book once again, while senior Nicole Michal (Louisville, Ky.) was named tournament MVP.
The Herd upended Savannah State 3-0 (30-6, 30-5, 30-13) in the morning match before sweeping Gardner-Webb by scores of 30-25, 30-17 and 30-19 in the North Carolina A&T hosted tournament. Marshall went 4-0 for the weekend and Michal is now a perfect 3-for-3 in all-tournament team selections thus far in 2003, while teammate Tracy King (Miami, Fla.) notched her first tournament team accolade. "Michal was unstoppable this weekend," Marshall head coach Mitch Jacobs said.
Marshall (6-4) set a new MAC standard by registering a .716 team hitting percentage versus Savannah State, eclipsing Western Michigan's mark of .641, set in 1983 versus Kent State. The Thundering Herd also tied their own MAC record, which was set Friday versus High Point and is shared by Ball State and Toledo, for 21 service aces in a single match. "It was a fun match to watch," Jacobs said. "It was a great opportunity for all of our girls to play."
Not only did Jacobs get a chance to get his non-starters playing time, but he was able to witness the fifth most prolific service ace output in MAC history by freshman Erin Jasin (Lambertville, Mich.). The 6-0 outside hitter tallied nine aces versus Savannah State in her first career start, also adding 10 kills, two blocks and a .769 hitting percentage. "Jasin showed us she deserves to play," Jacobs said. "Her service game was incredible." Jasin's nine service aces tied her in fifth place in MAC history, with the record standing at 13 aces.
Marshall's Amber Sims (Ney, Ohio) hit at a perfect 1.000 percent with six kills in six attempts, contributing two service aces to the Herd total. Andrea Kastein (Pittsburgh, Pa.) drew a match-high 52 assists with five aces. Freshmen Jen Harper (Columbus, Ohio) recorded 17 kills (.696 hitting percentage) while Christin Bimberg (Schwerin, Germany) added 16 kills (.750 hitting percentage).
The confident Herd squad rounded out the Aggie Classic by sweeping Gardner-Webb in the afternoon tilt. Marshall's service game was again on point to the tune of 15 aces in the match. Jacobs, though, was more happy with the way the Herd stepped up defensively. MU held GWU to a -.068 hitting percentage while the Herd registered 11 blocks as a team, led by Jasin's seven stoppers. "This was the best defensive performance that we've had so far this year," Jacobs said. "It was truly a team match." Sims led Marshall with nine kills, followed by Harper's eight. Katie Stein (Sussex, Wis.) assisted on 41 Herd points. "It was a great day, the team is real confident right now, but we've got a week's worth of work ahead of us to prepare for our next tournament," Jacobs said.
Marshall (6-4) will travel to Morgantown, W.Va., for next weekend's WVU Tournament with the host Mountaineers, Morehead State and Duquesne. MU opens play with a 5 p.m. match with the Eagles at WVU Coliseum.