If sports books set lines to encourage equal betting on both sides, it would have been pretty difficult to find a sports book willing to set a line on whether Creighton or Villanova would have a closer match with Marquette this weekend. Part of that is because it's hard to find sports books that take wagers 1) on college volleyball and 2) on such an esoteric concept. But Creighton came in just barely outside the AVCA top 25 and Marquette blew their doors off, while Villanova is, well, let's say not close to being ranked and scored at least 21 points in all three sets, something that the Bluejays only managed in the first set.
I find it hard to believe that Villanova is a more difficult matchup for Marquette, especially given that the Jays had taken six straight sets from Marquette over the last 10 months. Whether it was how the Wildcats went about their attack or Marquette feeling the aftereffects of an emotional high after sweeping the league favorites just 24 hours earlier, things were much more dramatic last night in the Al McGuire Center.
In any case, the Golden Eagles won in straight sets 25-23, 25-21, and 27-25. Villanova had the lead for most of that third set until a 5-1 run late pulled Marquette even at 22. The two teams traded points, first with Marquette fending off a set point, then the Wildcats doing the same. But freshman sensation Autumn Bailey came through with the final two kills of the match, and MU came away with the extra point win.
Bailey led Marquette with 12 kills on the night, while Villanova's Lauren Carpenter had a match high 15 kills. Bailey also had 11 digs to give her a double-double on the night. Elizabeth Koberstein built on her league lead in assists by recording 36 helpers on Marquette's 46 kills.
Marquette moves to 6-1 in Big East action and maintains their spot in first place in the standings while moving their overall record to 14-5. Villanova falls to 11-10 and 3-5 in Big East matches.
Up Next: Weekend ain't over yet! Georgetown (9-12, 3-5 Big East) comes to the Al McGuire Center this afternoon at 1pm. Marquette will be trying to raise $7,000 in their annual Dig Pink event. If they hit their goal, head coach Bond Shymansky and men's basketball head coach Buzz Williams will wear blue & gold striped bib overalls for MU's match against Xavier later this season. If you can't attend the match, you can click here and donate anyway.