If you weren’t one of the 793 people in attendance at the McGuire Center on Sunday or one of the people watching the GoMarquette.com/Marquette Wire streaming broadcast, then you missed a doozy of a volleyball game between YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles and the #13 ranked Kentucky Wildcats. It ended up being a bit of a bummer for the blue & gold faithful in attendance, though, as the Wildcats came out on top, 3-1 (25-23, 24-26, 25-23, 25-23). Marquette falls to 4-4 on the season with the loss.
It might be a loss in the record book, but it was one of the best volleyball matches that I’ve ever seen in person. It featured high quality performances across the board, as the worst hitting frame of the entire match came in the first, when Marquette “only” managed to hit .273. Neither team committed more than five errors in any set, and every single one of them was decided by the minimum required two points.
Sure, one team or the other went on runs at various points, but at no point did you say to yourself, “Wow, this top 15 team is clearly and obviously better than Marquette.” This was two teams jousting back and forth, battling for supremacy on this one particular day. Bring this one back again next week, and maybe things tip in favor of the Golden Eagles.
I could give you the rundown of what happened in this set or the other, but it’d get pretty boring pretty quickly, if we’re being honest. “This team had a small lead, then the other team overtook them, then it stayed close, then that team won.” Three times out of four, “that team” at the end was Kentucky, and the Wildcats won the match.
Allie Barber was a wrecking ball for Marquette, scoring 21 kills and hitting an absolutely ridiculous .488 on 41 swings. She was outdueled by UK’s Leah Edmond, who finished with a match high 26 kills while hitting .451. That just fits with the story of the match: Whatever Marquette did, Kentucky did ever so slightly better. Lauren Speckman had 55 assists for the Golden Eagles, Madison Lilley dished 65 helpers for the Wildcats. Manon Geoffroy & Hope Werch tied for the MU high in digs with 11, Ashley Dusek had 17 to lead the way for Kentucky. Great performance by Marquette, ever so slightly better job by Kentucky. That’s how it goes sometimes.
Check out these highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com & Marquette Wire:
Up Next: It’s a quick turnaround for the Golden Eagles, as they’ll play three matches over the next five days, all away from the McGuire Center. They’ll be on the east side of Milwaukee on Tuesday night to tangle with UW-Milwaukee in the first of those three. The Panthers are 7-3 on the season and are winners of six of their last seven, including two straight at the DePaul Invitational over the weekend.