Marquette volleyball bounced back after intermission to throw a scare into #13 UCLA on Saturday night, but it was for naught, as the Bruins handed the Golden Eagles a 3-1 (25-16, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23) loss. Marquette is now 1-1 on the season.
We got a competitive start to the match, with neither team leading by more than two points either way until UCLA took a 14-11 lead on a combo block by Jenny Mosser and Madeleine Gates. That was the beginning of the end of the Golden Eagles in the first set, as the Bruins closed out the frame on an 8-2 run. Set #2 was even more competitive, with Hope Werch dropping in a kill for Marquette to tie things up at 14. UCLA scored five of the next six, though, and held the Golden Eagles at arms’ length for the remainder of the set.
The third set looked to be more of the same, except Marquette didn’t let UCLA get an advantage. Elizabeth Orf put the Golden Eagles up 16-12 midway through the stanza, and UCLA wouldn’t get closer than two points after that. For a moment, when Mac May smacked down a kill to pull the Bruins to down three at 23-20, it looked like we might get a wild ending, but kills from Allie Barber and then Orf gave MU their first set win of the match.
It looked like losing their first set of the season just pissed off UCLA as May and Kyra Rogers combined for five kills on the way to a 6-1 lead in the fourth. Marquette bounced back, though, knotting the match at nine and then flying all the way out to a 15-10 lead on a combo block by Jenna Rosenthal and Anna Haak. The lead would extend to six points at 18-12 on a kill by Haak, but the Bruins reasserted themselves. UCLA pulled even at 22 apiece while scoring six of the final seven points of the set to put a crimp in Marquette’s plan of forcing a fifth set.
Barber posted a match high in kills for the second straight night, recording 18 against the Bruins to bring her up to an average of 4.44 per set this season. Lauren Speckman had a smashing 47 assists along with four kills, eight digs, and two assisted blocks. Jenna Rosenthal moved into eighth place all-time in assisted blocks after recording six more on Saturday night. That gives her 273 through two seasons and two matches, and it will be a while before Rosenthal catches Chris Curtin for seventh place.
Up Next: Yet one more quick turnaround for the Golden Eagles and the opponent quality does not drop off all that much. San Diego will be across the court for MU’s third and final match in the Rainbow Wahine Invitational, with the #22 ranked Toreros sitting at 0-1 on the season and holding a 16-15 lead on Hawaii as this is typed.