Big Weekend For Marshall Olympic Sports

The Marshall fan does not have a Saturday football game for the second time in October, but not to worry, oh supporter of all things Thundering Herd. Marshall's men's soccer team, off an upset of No. 24 SMU, MU volleyball, swimming/diving and Herd women's soccer, in the midst of one of its best seasons in many years, will all be in action Friday through Monday on the MU campus in Huntington.

Friday at 5 p.m., the 2-2 Marshall swimming and diving team will look to pickup its third win when the Penguins of Youngstown State come to the Frederick A. "Doc" Fitch Natatorium to compete (keep the heat up, Penguins are best on ice!). Freshman swimmer Liz Greenway's and senior diver Siobhan Schuurman's performances in last week's win over Radford, 185-79, earned the two Conference USA Swimmer and Diver of the Week honors.


Liz Greenway, swimming in her second meet at Marshall, won three races in a MU win over Radford, earning the frosh her first Conference USA Swimmer of the Week honor. photo from HerdZone.com

Greenway won the 100, 500 and 1,000-yard freestyle events, while Schuurman won both the one-meter and three-meter events. This is the divers second all-time C-USA diving honor, while it is the first for the freshman, who swam so well in her second event.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, volleyball will host the first of two weekend C-USA matches. The Herd, 10-9 overall but just 3-6 in league play, will battle SMU on Friday and then host Tulsa on Sunday at Noon, both matches in the Cam Henderson Center. Last weekend, the Herd won at UTEP, 3-0, in El Paso, Texas, then fell 0-3 to Tulane in New Orleans, La.


Jalicia Ross leads C-USA with a .454 hitting percentage, and the Herd will host SMU and Tulsa this weekend in volleyball in the Cam Henderson Center. photo from HerdZone.com

SMU will come in on a three-game losing streak, and the Herd is 3-0 all-time against the Mustangs. On the other hand, Tulsa is 18-6 this season and 5-4 in C-USA, winning four of its last six matches, and the all-time series is 2-2 between C-USA's best nicknames, the Golden Hurricane of TU and the MU Thundering Herd. Senior Jalicia Ross leads the Herd and C-USA with a hitting percentage of .454, and is fourth in the nation. Sophomore setter Elizabeth Fleming has 780 assists in 19 matches, and is fourth in the league at 10.83 sets per set. Also on Friday, the MU tennis team is at the East Regionals at Philadelphia, Pa.

On Saturday, the men's soccer team is fresh off the first two wins of the season and will host South Carolina at 7 p.m.. The Gamecocks, a member of C-USA for men's soccer and the SEC in everything else (along with Kentucky, and Florida International of the Sun Belt), are 1-2-1 in league play and 6-5-2 overall. Marshall's head coach Bob Gray saw his team pick up its first win of the season last Wednesday at home against FIU, 3-2, then travel to No. 24-ranked SMU this past Sunday night and upset the Mustangs, 1-0. Kolby LaCrone of MU was named the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week for scoring a goal in the win over FIU, then the only goal of the game against SMU on Sunday night in Dallas. This will also be Senior Night for the Herd's nine senior players, as Marshall has three road contests left before the C-USA Tournament.

On Sunday, it will again be Senior Day but this time for the women's soccer team as they face UAB at Noon after traveling to Memphis for a Friday night league match. The Herd is 5-7-4 overall, and 3-5-0 in C-USA, and these are the best win totals for the program, under interim head coach Kevin Long in 2008, since the Herd won three league matches in the Mid-American Conference in 2002. UAB will come in 6-9-1, 4-3-1 in the league (not counting Friday's match at East Carolina). Marshall got 13 saves from junior co-captain Liz Orton in goal against Memphis, No. 10 in the central region, last year. MU is led by forward Erika Duncan, who has 45 shots and eight goals, tops on the team from the sophomore from Scotland. Orton has logged 1,499 minutes and 66 saves in 16 matches this year, seventh in the league. Freshman Angela DeSumma is 16th in the nation and leads MU and the league with 0.63 assists per match this season on ten total.

Finally, on Monday, the MU baseball's Dugout Club will meet at the Java Joint in Huntington, located at Third Avenue and Hal Greer Blvd. Call Josh Brown at 304-633-2171 to make reservations, and food and drink are provided at no charge. The Green swept the White in four games in last week's Green-White World Series to wrap up fall baseball for head coach Jeff Waggoner and his team. MU was 30-30-1 last season and runners-up in C-USA, the first time the Herd ever won 30 games in a history back to 1896, and the first second-place finish since the Southern Conference tournament in 1989. Herd baseball will open the season Feb. 20-22, 2009 at the ACC's Wake Forest, meeting Akron, Old Dominion (twice) and the host Demon Deacons.


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