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Marquette Volleyball Leaves The East Coast After A 1-1 Weekend

The Golden Eagles ended up splitting the season series with Seton Hall, while taking both matches on the year from Villanova.

Meghan Niemann broke MU's single season block assist record against Villanova on Saturday.
Meghan Niemann broke MU's single season block assist record against Villanova on Saturday.

In the first of two weekend contests, Marquette lost in four sets to Seton Hall on Friday night, 27-25, 19-25, 27-25, 25-16.  The Golden Eagles and the Pirates have played eight sets this season, with four of them going to extra points.

In their first win over Marquette since 2009, Seton Hall got 19 kills from Stacey Manthorpe, while her twin sister Shelbey was all over the court, recording 42 assists, 24 digs, and eight blocks.  Marquette got an incredible night from Autumn Bailey, who had a match high 29 kills while hitting .348 and adding 20 digs.  Nele Barber also added 18 kills, but MU struggled to get offensive contributions from anyone else.

MU had the Pirates at set point in the first, 24-22, but a three point run by SHU gave them the advantage at 25-24.  Bailey was able to re-tie the match, but two straight from Seton Hall gave them the extra point win.  The second set started out neck and neck, tied at eight points a piece.  From there, MU ran off nine straight points, including six kills off the hand of Barber, and the Golden Eagles maintained their lead to tie it up heading to intermission.

Seton Hall came out of the break and opened up a 17-11 lead before the Golden Eagles crawled back into it to take a 20-19 lead.  The squads would trade points until they were tied at 25, but Seton Hall got a kill from Stacey Manthorpe and a setting violation by Marquette's Mary Nilles gave SHU the third frame.  Marquette would get off to a 9-3 hole in the fourth, but battled back to cut it to just a two point margin after a combo block from Barber and Meghan Niemann.  Seton Hall reasserted control from there, running off the next five points.  Marquette couldn't get back into it, and a kill from Amanda Hansen gave the Pirates the match.

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24 hours later, Marquette found themselves in Pennsylvania to take on Villanova.  The Golden Eagles haven't lost to the Wildcats since 2007, and that streak continued here with a three set sweep.  On the way to their 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-19) win, Autumn Bailey became the third player in Marquette history with 500 kills in a season, plus she broke the MU record for attacks in a season with her season long mark of 1,359.  That record was previously held by Ashley Beyer, who set it at 1,326 in 2011.  She wasn't the only one etching her name into the record book, as Meghan Niemann's five block assists caused her to knock down MU's single season record and move her to 121 assisted swats in 2014.

Bailey got MU off to a firecracker of a start, recording nine kills in the first set, as Marquette never trailed and held a lead after a 2-2 tie to open things up.  Things were closer in the second, but the Golden Eagles ripped off five straight to make the final margin much more impressive.  Marquette got the first three points of the third set, too, as things looked to go completely off the rails for Villanova.  The Wildcats battled back, though, with a Michaela Berendt kill earning them a tie at 16.  A 9-3 Marquette run gave them the match after a Mary Nilles kill brought things to a close.

Up Next: Just one regular season match remains, and technically, the Golden Eagles have nothing left to play for.  They'll be either the #2 or #3 seed in the Big East tournament, but since it'll be at the McGuire Center and the opponent will definitely be Seton Hall, the final standing doesn't officially matter.  With that said, the final match of the season is Senior NIght for Lindsey Gosh and Courtney Kintzel.  They'll wrap up their final regular season of college volleyball by taking on DePaul on Saturday, November 22, at 6pm.