Autumn Bailey rained down 16 kills on the Red Storm, while Meghan Niemann hit .643 to register 10 kills as Marquette beat St. John's on Sunday afternoon, 25-20, 25-23, 25-17.
The key to the match for Marquette was limiting the Johnnies' offense. Odds are that they weren't going to be able to shut down two of the three leading killers in the Big East in Karin Palgutova and Aleksandra Wachowicz, so they didn't bother trying. Palgutova performed better than her season average by recording 16 kills on the day, and she hit a stellar .414 in the process. Wachowicz on the other hand... not so much. The junior outside hitter hit .034 in the match on seven kills and six errors.
Marquette used a 4-0 run late in the first set to go from down 17-16 to up 20-17 and hold on to the lead from there. In the second set, the Golden Eagles took a 12-8 lead on an error by Palgutova and seemed to be building some momentum. But SJU wouldn't allow MU to create more distance and eventually tied it at 21, 22, and 23 points. With the match hanging in the balance, Elizabeth Koberstein went to her most reliable weapon: Autumn Bailey. The freshman outside hitter drove down a kill to move Marquette to set point and a service ace from Lindsey Gosh sent St. John's into intermission down 0-2.
Two blocks in the first three points put St. John's up 3-0 in the third set, and they would go up 5-1 on a kill from Palgutova. That's when Niemann took over. The redshirt freshman had two kills and two blocks, one partnered with Bailey, to drive a 5-0 run that gave Marquette a 6-5 lead. A mid-set 7-1 run swung things heavily in the Golden Eagles' favor, and it was errors by St. John's that did the damage. First a service error by Shawna Lei-Santos, then a service error and an attack error from Palgutova. By the end of the run, Marquette led 18-11, and it was just a matter of playing even with the Johnnies to close things out.
Koberstein had 42 assists to continue her completely insane run, as she averaged 14 per set in this match. Julie Jeziorowski led Marquette's backline, not to mention the entire match, with 12 digs.
Up Next: Through a quirk in the scheduling process, Marquette heads out on to the road next weekend to face the same two teams they saw this weekend in the Al McGuire Center. It'll be in the same order and everything, so Marquette will be in South Orange, New Jersey, on Friday afternoon to face Seton Hall. The Pirates are 13-14 on the season and 4-8 in Big East play after splitting their weekend at Marquette and DePaul.