It took some hustling, but Marquette volleyball wrapped up the 2017 regular season on Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-19) victory over DePaul. With the win, MU finishes with a record of 21-8 overall and 15-3 in Big East action. That’s the best league record during head coach Ryan Theis’ tenure.
Win or lose, Marquette was already locked into the #2 seed in the Big East tournament before even Friday night’s matches in the Big East. They couldn’t be caught by Butler, which had five losses after last weekends matches, and thanks to tiebreakers, MU wouldn’t be the #1 seed even if Creighton lost to Georgetown on Saturday. As luck would have it, Creighton came within mere points of getting dropped by the Hoyas, as they fell behind 2-1 and only won the fifth set 15-13. Had Georgetown scored a couple extra points here or there, we’d be talking about how the Golden Eagles are Big East co-champions right now.
As it was, Marquette almost didn’t need the help from Georgetown, or at least that’s how it looked early. After a back and forth early section in the first set, Marquette found themselves trailing 19-12 as Caitlyn Coffey and Brittany Maxwell stuffed an attack by MU’s Allie Barber. That sounds like a one-way trip to trailing 1-0, but DePaul would score just four more points in the set. MU ripped off a 4-0 run to make it interesting again, and then after Maxwell put DePaul up 23-20, the Golden Eagles played Smash & Grab. The next five points were all for Marquette, with three coming by way of kills by Anna Haak. YOINK, MU went up 1-0.
The second set was no picnic either, as DePaul got themselves back into a rhythm and scored five of the first six points of the frame. After MU got back into it, DePaul popped off for the next four points to leave the Golden Eagles trailing 15-13. MU tied it up, Myah Reed made it 18-15. MU takes a lead, then DePaul takes a lead. 23-22, DePaul serving.... and then two Barber kills and a strike from freshman Elizabeth Orf had MU up 2-0.
In the third set, Marquette said “nope, not doing that again.” The Golden Eagles earned themselves an advantage midway through the stanza and then slowly walked away from DePaul. 11-all became 14-12, which turned into 16-13, and then 19-15. Nothing fancy, nothing dramatic, just a good old fashioned trading twos for ones, and an ace by Madeline Mosher sent everyone home, some happier than others.
It was a quiet day statistically for the Golden Eagles. Jenna Rosenthal and Allie Barber tied for the team lead in kills with 10 apiece. This isn’t one of those team effort type of games, either. DePaul committed 22 attacking errors in the match to help light Marquette’s path to victory. Lauren Speckman and Sarah Rose shared the setting duties here, with Speckman getting to 18 assists and Rose spreading out 13 helpers.
This would be the part of the show where I embed a highlight package, but DePaul assembled 60 seconds of cool things that they did instead of, y’know, actually recapping the match that they lost in video form. This is not helpful, people.
Up Next: Marquette will be hosting the Big East tournament starting on Friday. As I mentioned earlier, the Golden Eagles are the #2 seed in the tournament, and they’ll be playing #3 Butler in the first round. MU split the season series with Butler, winning 3-0 in Indianapolis, but falling 3-2 at home. That match will be the second of the two semifinal matches, with #1 Creighton tangling with #4 Villanova in the first match on Friday. If you’re going to be in town, tickets are available through the Marquette ticket office.