Marquette had the chance to take complete control of the Big East standings on their road trip this weekend. Unfortunately, they ran into the buzzsaw that is the Cincinnati Bearcats in their home arena and the preseason pick to win the Big East in the Louisville Cardinals.
Saturday saw Marquette drop their first Big East match of the year and become Cincinnati's 47th straight home victim as the Bearcats picked up the 3-1 (25-13, 21-25, 25-18, 25-17) victory. Holly Mertens had 6 of her team high 13 kills to power Marquette to even up the match at 1 heading into intermission, but Marquette couldn't combat Cincinnati having 3 players with double digit kills and hitting percentages over .425 in Jordanne Scott, Missy Harpenau, and Emily Hayden.
Even with the loss, Marquette went to Louisville with a chance to stay in control of the conference. But Louisville was just as aware of that fact. Preseason Big East Player of the Year Lola Arslanbekova lived up to her billing, hitting .485 on her way to 18 kills in a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-18) sweep for the Cardinals. Louisville hit .344 as a team and no Marquette player managed double digit kills, with Ashley Beyer coming the closest with 9.
The two losses send Marquette tumbling back to 3rd place in the Big East with two matches left in conference play. Both matches are this weekend and both matches will be at the Al McGuire Center.