Taylor Louis and Meghan Niemann both tallied double digit kills, while Jenna Rosenthal was lethal at the net as Marquette got a 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-17) victory over DePaul on Saturday night.
Marquette moves to 21-5 on the year and 11-3 in Big East play. Combine that with the rest of the results around the league on Saturday, and MU is guaranteed to finish no lower than 5th place in the conference with four matches left to play. Seton Hall got pushed to five sets by Villanova, but the Pirates came away with the victory, thus holding off Marquette clinching a conference tournament berth at least for one more week.
The Golden Eagles won in straight sets over the Blue Demons, but you’d be hard pressed to call it an easy victory, even with MU outhitting DePaul .355 to .163 in the match. The first set was a back and forth affair all the way to a 17-17 tie on a Claire Anderson kill for DePaul. Marquette got the next five points to seize control of the set, and after a brief flurry from DePaul cut it to a two point margin late, a kill from Rosenthal and an attack error by DePaul’s Myah Reed gave MU the win.
An early three point DePaul lead in the second set slowly turned into a three point Marquette advantage midway through the frame. A Louis attack error would pull the Blue Demons back within one, but Marquette ground out nine of the next 14 points capped off by a kill from Louis to take a 2-0 lead at the intermission.
You’re not going to believe this, but the third set was tied at 10 each. I know, right? A 6-1 run punctuated by a solo block from Rosenthal shifted the advantage in Marquette’s favor, but DePaul responded with a 5-1 scurry of their own to pull within one. DePaul would score just one more point, off a service error by Lauren Speckman, and Marquette coasted to a relatively easy finish.
Louis finished with a match high 13 kills, giving her 420 on the season. That gives her the 14th best single season total in program history, narrowly edging out the 419 posted by Holly Mertens in 2012. Niemann’s 10 kills give her 992 for her career, which means she’ll assuredly get to 1,000 at some point in the two matches next weekend.
Rosenthal had to settle for nine kills on the evening, but she did it on 12 error free swings. The 6’6” redshirt sophomore also added two solo blocks, two assisted blocks, and a service ace. Those stats don’t do Rosenthal justice, as she’s turned into a ridiculously dominating force at the net. On more than a handful of occasions, Rosenthal was able to pogo stick her way to stuff a DePaul attack, only to see the Blue Demons recover it and deny her a chance to score another block. She heads to next weekend two assisted blocks short of the 5th best single season total in Marquette history.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and the Big East Digital Network?
Up Next: Hey, remember how I mentioned that Seton Hall’s win prevented Marquette from clinching a spot in the four team conference tournament? Well, SURPRISE, the Pirates (14-14, 8-7 Big East) come in to the Al McGuire Center next Saturday. A win will put Marquette into the tournament for sure, and it’ll be Senior Day on Sunday when St. John’s (14-14, 5-10 Big East) comes to town.