Allie Barber and Jenna Rosenthal turned the Seton Hall defense into Swiss cheese on Friday night as Marquette got the 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-19) win over the Pirates in their first home match against a Big East opponent this season. Marquette is now 2-0 in league play and thanks to starting things off mid-week, Marquette is also the only 2-0 team in the league.
Barber and Rosenthal were bordering on bullies in this one, with both women averaging five kills per set (a match high 16 for Barber, 15 for Rosenthal) and hitting over .400. While those two provided the majority of the offense, Anna Haak did a great job filling in around them, recording 10 kills and 12 digs for her second double-double of the season.
The first set was kind of a runaway win for Marquette. The Golden Eagles came out with purpose, building an 8-4 lead in the early going. The lead would extend to eight late in the frame on a kill from Haak, and while SHU wandered back into the match with four of the final six points, they never really challenged MU in that one.
Things didn’t quite go the same in the second set. Good: A 4-1 lead on a kill by Haak. Bad: Immediately giving up a 6-0 run right after that. Things stayed tight from there for a while, but a 4-0 run built on the back of a service error by the Pirates and an ace by Martha Konovodoff. The two teams traded points from there until MU got the final three points of the set, including a capper on a block from Rosenthal and Liza Kastrup.
Marquette looked like they might run away with the third set when a block by Barber and Elizabeth Orf put the Golden Eagles up 8-3 in a hurry. Seton Hall slooooowly came back, though, as a 5-2 burst by the Pirates made it interesting again. The new two point margin was the order of business for a while, give or take, and three straight from SHU late in the frame had MU up just one, 19-18. BANG, Rosenthal. STUFF, Rosenthal and setter Lauren Speckman. BANG, Haak. BLOCK, Barber and Rosenthal. BANG-BANG, Cactus Jack style, by Barber, and that was that.
Speckman continued the absurd groove that she’s in, racking up 40 assists on just 49 kills in the match for Marquette. An average of 13.3 assists per set will go a long way to keeping this MU offense on track against even the toughest opponent.
How about some highlights, courtesy of the Big East Digital Network and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: It’s a quick turnaround for the Golden Eagles, as they’ll be back out on the McGuire Center floor on Saturday evening at 6pm. St. John’s is 8-8 on the season after dropping their Big East opener to DePaul on Friday night in five sets.