After three straight wins to open the conference schedule, Marquette dropped their first Big East match yesterday, falling 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-19) to Creighton.
The story of the day was hitting. Both teams started out horribly by hitting under .100 in the opening frame. The difference came when Creighton (12-4, 3-1 Big East) was able to pull out of their funk, hitting .333 and .441 in the second and third sets. MU (11-5, 3-1 Big East) was only able to muster hitting percentages of .260 and .267 in the last two sets. The most notable struggle on the day came from star freshman Autumn Bailey, who committed seven errors against just six kills on 24 attacks, giving her a negative hitting percentage for the first time in her collegiate career. The bright spot in the lineup was Meghan Niemann, who tied for the match high with 12 kills while hitting .500 along the way.
Michelle Sicner was the star for the Bluejays. She assembled the rare triple-double, as she somehow found time for 33 assists, 15 digs, and 12 kills. Sicner also hit .579 to get to those 12 kills, so we're probably lucky that she was only metaphorically on fire, instead of accidentally burning down D.J. Sokol Arena with her incendiary play.
With the loss, MU slips into a tie with the Jays for second place in the Big East with both teams at 3-1. Xavier has a slight edge on both teams with an extra win in their pocket for the time being. It's the first loss of the season for Marquette that came against a team that wasn't ranked at the time.
The good news is that with the nine team league, Creighton will have to visit the McGuire Center, and in a neat scheduling trick, that match will take place on October 25th, the same day as the traditional men's basketball Haunted Hoops scrimmage. Perhaps with a little bit of effort, Marquette can try to match the 2,109 announced attendance from yesterday's contest to provide a difficult arena for the return match.
Up Next: Marquette returns home on Saturday for the first of four straight home games. DePaul (14-3, 1-3 Big East) is up first, with things getting started at 7pm.