With the win, Marquette moves to 11-2 in Big East. However, thanks to Creighton’s win over Providence, the Bluejays (11-1) maintained their half-game lead over the Golden Eagles in the league standings.
MU took the first set by a closer score than it looked like it was going to be midway through the frame. Barber gave Marquette a 17-10 lead at one point and then expanded that to 20-11. In a harbinger of the next set, Seton Hall grabbed up 11 of the next 15 points before MU got the win on — SURPRISE — a kill by Barber.
In the second set, Marquette had leads of 10-4, 13-6, and 15-7, but that thing was far from over. All of a sudden, though, SHU’s Amanda Rachwal put down a kill to cut the lead to two at 17-15. But: 21-16! 23-18! Heading towards over, no? 24-20! Time to exhale WAIT NO Seton Hall score five straight and now it’s set point for the Pirates. Set point this way, set point that way, and before you know it, thiings are knotted at 33. THIRTY-THREE! Finally, two attack errors from Jenna Rosenthal, and the match was even at one set each.
Unsurprisingly, both teams did not hit the ball well in the third frame. Both sides had their worst hitting percentage in the match in the third, and let’s say that perhaps it’s not a surprise that the third went to extra points, too. Marquette got the advantage late after fending off yet another rally from the Pirates and Elizabeth Orf partnered up with first Hope Werch, then Anna Haak for blocks to end the third in a Marquette win.
Finally we got a tight set all the way though in the fourth set, as neither side led by more than two points at any point. Dominique Mason had three of her nine kills in the match to help Seton Hall rally from down 23-21 for the 25-23 win and push things to a fifth set.
Whatever head coach Ryan Theis said to the Golden Eagles in between sets, it worked. A fire was lit under them as they exploded out to a 6-0 lead to start. Seton Hall would get the margin to four points occasionally, and even three at 14-11, but Barber dropped in her 30th kill, and that was that.
While Barber put up a career best, Jenna Rosenthal continued her ascent towards a program record. She had six assisted blocks here, giving her 348 in her Marquette career. She tied and passed Jenn Brown’s mark of 345 for fourth place and now sits just 64 blocks away from Megan Niemann’s program record.
Up Next: It’s moment of truth time. On Saturday, Marquette will be in Omaha for the other end of the home-and-home with Creighton. The #16 ranked Bluejays have won seven straight matches since losingto Marquette on October 5th.