Holly Mertens and Marquette had to force a fifth set and hold on to get an important win in Big East play.
Ever heard of the theory of the Star Trek movies? The even numbered ones (Wrath of Khan, Voyage Home, Undiscovered Country) are good and the odd numbered ones (Motion Picture, Search For Spock, Final Frontier) are bad? It seemed like Marquette was doing exactly that in their match against Notre Dame yesterday before reversing the trend and coming away with a 3-2 (12-25, 26-24, 13-25, 27-25, 15-7) victory.
As you can see from the individual set scores, Marquette got completely dominated in the first and third sets as neither of which were even remotely competitive. It's not surprising that their combined hitting percentage for those two sets was .000. Even in sets two and four, they didn't hit particularly well (.225 and .244), but it was better than Notre Dame was hitting. Not by much, but just enough that it allowed Marquette to pick up the wins they needed to force a fifth set.
Ultimately, it was Marquette's defense that allowed them to win the fifth set. MU had five blocks from a combination of five different players to grab the decisive advantage in the final set.
Holly Mertens led Marquette with 20 kills in the match. Elizabeth Koberstein had just 43 assists, well off of her usual 11+ per set average. Three Golden Eagles reached double digits in digs, led by Julie Jeziorowski with 22.
The loss drops Notre Dame (9-6, 2-1) from the tie between the teams undefeated in conference play and leaves Marquette (11-3, 2-0) in a three way tie with Seton Hall and St. John's. With a win today over DePaul, Marquette should be right on the edge of being ranked in the next AVCA poll, as Notre Dame was right in front of MU in the teams receiving votes last week.
Up Next: The aforementioned match with DePaul starts today at 2pm Central.
Here's a post match interview with Mertens and coach Bond Shymansky mixed in with a few highlights. Keep your eyes open for Koberstein's setter kill...