Marshall volleyball starts Conference season 2-0


Richard Crank

Marshall volleyball coach Ari Agnus celebrates a job well done by her team.

Richard Crank
Sydney Lostumo, Amber Weber and Ivana Trencheva celebrate a kill.

It was a huge weekend for Head Coach Ari Aganus and the Marshall University volleyball team as Aganus collected her first home win as head coach and the team started off conference play 2-0 in front of two 750+ crowds.

“The atmosphere in here is something that I didn’t expect,” Aganus said. “We couldn’t be happier that we had so many people come out. Beyond that, being able to get a win on your first home game has just been awesome. I couldn’t be happier.”

Marshall started the weekend with a sweep against Southern Mississippi where Aganus defeated her college head coach, Stephanie Radecki, 25-16, 25-17, 25-16.

“It was terrifying going into it,” Aganus said. “I spent the last ten years trying to keep her (Radecki) happy and now I am trying to defeat her.  Which is something I will never forget, to have my first home head coaching job and win against my former coach which just means that she did a good job.”

After 13 road games, the Herd finally made its way home where redshirt junior pin hitter Ciara DeBell was the standout player offensively. DeBell ended the night with 15 kills putting her right on the 600 mark on her career.

“The energy was good,” DeBell said. “We had so much fun, and I think that is why we did so well.”

Sophomore middle Isa Dostal and sophomore outside Sarah Schank each contributed seven kills for the Herd. Dostal also assisting on two blocks.

Blocking is a hot topic for Marshall volleyball while only collecting eight blocks in this game. Marshall not only led C-USA in blocking but was also ranked fourth in NCAA Division I Schools for blocks per set before the start of Friday’s game. After a weekend of play, Marshall continues to hold fourth place, .22 of a point behind Utah.

Sophomore right side Mion Weldon, Dostal, junior middle blockers Destiny Leon and DeBell all assisted in the blocking game.

Junior setter Sydney Lostumo carried the team with 19 assists on the day, followed by sophomore setter Gabrielle Coulter with 16.

Senior libero Amber Weber carried the team in the backrow capping out the night with 19 digs. She was honored at the beginning of the game for recording her 1,000 digs on her career, earlier in the season.

“We stayed together even when we were down,” Weber said. “We are like a family and that is what is helping us win.”

With one conference win under its belt, Marshall took on Florida International University in the second game of the weekend, where the Herd was victorious.

While Marshall has swept nine of its ten games so far this season, FIU did not allow Marshall to add that notch to the belt.  With 29 ties, 14 lead changes and lots of competitive volleyball, the Herd came out on top, 3-1 (25-27, 26-24, 25-21, 25-17).

“They are sticking to the plan and they are able to finish,” Aganus said. “They don’t get comfortable and working hard to earn every single point.”

In set one, there was never a lead larger than two, but FIU would end it in extended play with a service ace taking the 1-0 lead.

DeBell led the Herd again in kills, tallying 15. She was followed by Schank and Dostal with seven each.  Schank recorded four of her seven kills in the second set. A block from Dostal and senior right-side Ivana Trencheva gave the Herd the lead and a panther error gave them the win.

Marshall took the three set, 25-21 and the match lead, 2-1.

“We talked to them after set three that every conference match is going to be a battle,” Aganus said. “They have to dig in and embrace the fight.”

It was that fight that Marshall had in the fourth set.

Taking an early 4-0 lead, Marshall had the momentum and the score but FIU was able to recover and tie it at 4s. The game stayed neck and neck before the Herd used two runs to extend the lead and take the win.

The Herd hits the road for its next C-USA matchup against the Charlotte 49ers in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m.

Sydney Shelton can be contacted at [email protected]