The Eastern Kentucky University volleyball team fell in its home opener against Marshall on Tuesday night.

The Colonels lost in straight sets 22-25, 19-25 and 24-26 to the Thundering Herd.

This was head coach Johnna Fouch’s first home game after taking over the program this season.

“It was definitely an exciting environment,” Fouch said. “I think seeing the crowd and the band and having the energy in there was great.”

Even though her team lost in straight sets, Fouch was pleased with their performance, but wants to work on limiting the amount of errors they allow.

“I think our team played well tonight,” she said. “It’s a tough loss because stats across the board we played a lot better than we had all year. My staff said it the best ‘we made errors at the wrong time.’ Those crucial errors is what’s going to cause us to lose and for my team it is going to be [important] to continue to keep the focus, but overall the energy was great.”

Senior Rachel Woody from Murrieta, Calif. led the match with 32 assists. Fouch was pleased with her performance and happy to see her lead the offensive attack. 

“She’s definitely getting our offense more involved,” Fouch said about Woody. “When you’re playing a game you need to have all three hitters prominent. She’s definitely spreading the net. She’s also offensive which is good so she's a great leader to have out there.”

The third set was close all the way until the end. There were nine lead changes and 14 ties in the set. EKU had 15 kills while Marshall had 19. The Thundering Herd won the last set 26-24, but Fouch credits her team for staying consistent to be able to keep the set close.

“We were letting them make the errors so we were able to be where we needed to be at the right time. We just needed to close it out,” Fouch said.

Freshman Abby Noll from Fort Mitchell, Ky. posted a match-high 14 kills and 13 digs in the match for the Colonels.

Sarah Schank led the way for Marshall with a team-high 12 kills and five digs. Ciara Debell chipped in 10 kills for the Thundering Herd.

Fouch and the Colonels are looking to improve this week on the offensive side.

“We need to focus on our add-assist game,” she said. “Just being able to produce and to put an aggressive ball in play and to rely on our defense because our defense is playing great right now and our offense needs to continue to get up to par. We’re going to play some good teams this weekend so we have to make sure we’re producing offensively.” 

The Colonels wraps up the non-conference portion of its schedule on the road this weekend in Morgantown, West Virginia. Eastern Kentucky University will take on Navy on Friday. They will then face West Virginia and Duquesne on Saturday.

First serve against Navy is set for 4:30 p.m.


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