Women's Volleyball: Marquette 3, DePaul 2

Nele Barber (3) had a career high 18 kills vs DePaul. - Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

It took five sets, but the Golden Eagles finally walked away with the win in their conference opener against the Blue Demons.

Let's go over the important things that happened in Saturday night's volleyball match between Marquette and DePaul:

  • Marquette had to bounce back from dropping the first set to win in five sets.
  • Freshmen Autumn Bailey and Nele Barber both set career highs in kills with 29 and 18 respectively, while redshirt freshman Meghan Niemann had a career high in blocks with eight.
  • DePaul's 13 match winning streak to start the season was broken.
  • Head coach Bond Shymansky picked up his 100th win while patrolling the Marquette sideline.

Man, that is a laundry list of significant events. Quite the match, indeed.

Marquette was on point with their attack all match long. The first set was the only set where they didn't hit at least .340, connecting on attacks "just" 25% of the time in the opening frame. The Blue Demons opened up a 15-10 lead midway through the set, led on a short run by two blocks and a kill from Ashley Huebener. MU would tie things up at 17, and again at 24. The Blue Demons and Golden Eagles took turns fending off set point before DePaul closed it out 28-26 with a block from Colleen Smith and Natalie Rizzo.

The second set was tied as late as 21 all when Lindsey Gosh committed a service error. One kill each from Bailey and Jackie Kocken on either side of two kills from Niemann pushed MU away from DePaul to knot the match at one set each. The third set was the most lopsided of the night, but even though Marquette won easily at 25-18, there wasn't a significant run in the stanza that gave them the advantage. Marquette had a chance to take match point in the fourth set after an Abbie Fleener attack error, but Fleener made up for it by coming back for the next two kills to give the Blue Demons an advantage. A Gosh kill forced things to extra points, but two straight from Huebener sent the match to a fifth set.

The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the fifth, but DePaul pushed back and took a 6-4 lead on an ace from Rizzo. That's where things went bananas. A 9-1 by Marquette, powered by five kills from Barber, put them up 13-8, and from there it was academic, and Barber tacked on one last kill to give MU the win.

Marquette moves to 8-4 on the season and 1-0 in Big East play. DePaul is now 13-1 on the year.

Up Next: MU heads out on the road for two matches next weekend. First up is Georgetown on Friday night. The Hoyas are 6-8 after dropping their Big East opener at Villanova.

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