For a brief split second late in the second set, it seemed like Milwaukee would finally snap their five year long stretch of dropping games to Marquette. The Golden Eagles rallied in that frame, though, and came away with the 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-17) victory at the Klotsche Center on Tuesday night. With the W, Marquette is now 5-4 on the season. They haven’t lost a set to UWM since 2012 and haven’t dropped a match since 2008.
Marquette jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the early going against UWM on their way to a first set victory. Blocks were the story of the opener, as MU recorded seven stops for points in the frame, including the winner from Jenna Rosenthal and Allie Barber. In the second, neither team had a two-point margin until Barber slammed down a kill to put Marquette up 18-16. Even then, Milwaukee didn’t go away, quickly scoring five of the next six points to take a 21-19 lead. An attack error by little used MU reserve Sandy Mohr pushed the Panthers to a 23-22 lead, but a kill from Anna Haak and consecutive attack errors from Milwaukee put MU up 2-0.
The third set was back to the format of the first, with Marquette jumping out to a 7-3 lead on a solo block by Elizabeth Orf. The lead reached six points at 11-5 on a kill by Haak, and then ballooned out to nine on a kill by Hope Werch to make it 17-8. UWM made it interesting again with a 6-1 run, but Marquette started up the block party again to lock down the W. Four of MU’s final seven points of the match came on blocks, with Orf partnering with Liza Kastrup and Lauren Speckman for two, and Rosenthal pairing off with Haak and Barber for the others.
As you can guess from the blocks, Milwaukee struggled with hitting in the match, connecting for kills at a .118 clip. Meanwhile, Marquette never went lower than .306 on their way to a .372 hitting night, led by a crazy bananas .636 from Rosenthal.
Barber tied with Milwaukee’s Caitlin Schultz for the match high in kills with 13. Both women were the only ones on their teams to break into double digits in this 89 minute match, although MU did get nine kills each from Werch and Rosenthal. Speaking of MU’s rising blocking star, Rosenthal finished with one solo stuff and eight assisted stops on the night. She’s now up to 41 assisted blocks on the season, which gives her 302 for her career. That’s good enough for seventh most in program history and just three shy of Chris Curtin in sixth place at 305. The redshirt junior — remember that she’s only a junior — is on pace right now to finish the regular season just short of 400 assisted blocks, and MU’s record is only 412 after Meghan Niemann set it last season.
Speckman had a snazzy 36 assists to boost her 13th best in the country average ever so slightly higher, while freshman libero Martha Konovodoff tallied 13 digs to help boost her season average as well.
How about some highlights, courtesy of MKEPanthers.com and the Horizon League on ESPN3?
Up Next: BRACE FOR IMPACT. Marquette stays in-state for their next outing, but they’ll be back out on the road, this time due west. Wisconsin plays host to the Golden Eagles on Thursday night, putting their #5 ranking and and unblemished 7-0 record on the line. It will be just the 21st all-time meeting between the two programs, and the first since 2008. After that one, MU will be back in action in Madison on Friday night against Southern Mississippi.