Wichita State ruined the home opener for Marquette volleyball on Friday night, downing the hosting Golden Eagles in five sets, but MU bounced back to take both of Saturday's matches to finish 2-1 on the weekend and take the Marquette Invitational title. Joy Miley was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, while Nicki Barnes and Taylor Louis were named to the all-tournament team.
Wait. Nicki Barnes was on the all tournament team? *reads box scores* Am I missing something here? I mean, nothing against Ms. Barnes, but she had five aces in three matches, four of them against IUPUI. She recorded only six digs total in the 10 sets she appeared in, and she committed four service errors, too. I mean, I get that three of Barnes' aces came as Marquette rallied from down 21-17 to win the third set against IUPUI, but is that really "all-tournament team" performance?
Speaking of being down 21-17 and still winning, it's still a crime that Marquette lost a fifth set to Wichita State by a score of 15-13. I know I've said it a million times before and I'll probably say it another two million times in the future, but this 15 points fifth set thing is an absolute joke. Marquette and WSU were tied at 14 in the fourth before Marquette won that one, and tied at 14 in the second before the Shockers won that one. Declaring something to be decisively over after 28 points have been played is absurd and dumb. It probably shouldn't be surprising that Marquette has a record of 8-4 this season, but three of the losses have come in five set matches, with the fourth coming as a sweep at the hands of #22 Kansas.
Marquette bounced back from that disappointing and absurd loss to Wichita State by rifling through Albany on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Eagles found themselves up 2 sets to none before they had even allowed the Great Danes to score 30 points in the match, winning 25-16 and 25-13. Albany actually led briefly late in the third set, but Marquette outscored them 5-1 down the stretch to finish off the sweep.
IUPUI didn't go as quickly and quietly as Albany, in fact, they won the first set 25-20. The Golden Eagles evened it up in the second and used the run fueled by Barnes' aces to push the Jaguars to the brink. MU was able to take the fourth set by hitting .400 while holding IUPUI to a hitting percentage of just .053.
Up Next: It's time for Big East matches! Marquette gets the conference schedule started on Wednesday, when they travel to Cincinnati to face Xavier. The Musketeers are 4-6 on the season after losing their most recent contest to #24 Kentucky in four sets.