Marquette gameplanned perfectly for their encounter with St. John’s on Saturday as the Golden Eagles nearly hit .500 in their 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-12) sweep of the Red Storm. With the win, Marquette is now 3-0 in Big East action, one of just three teams still unbeaten, even though MU is the only team to have played three times already. The Golden Eagles have now won 12 straight sets as well to run their winning streak to four straight matches since losing to Wisconsin on September 14th.
The gameplan to beat the Johnnies is simple: Don’t let Julia Cast beat you and don’t let Danisha Moss stop you. Cast came into the match second in the Big East in kills per set, trailing only MU’s Allie Barber in that department. The Golden Eagles were able to hold Cast to just eight kills on 32 swings. She committed seven errors in the match and hit just .031. Moss was the third best blocker in the league before the match started, averaging nearly 1.5 blocks per set. She was held to just two assisted stuffs in this match and considering that Marquette never hit lower than .370 in any of the three sets, I think it’s safe to say that Moss didn’t have that much of an impact on the game.
As these things tend to go, the first set was pretty close for a while. MU went on a 7-1 run to take the margin to 12-6, and after a brief flurry from the Red Storm, Marquette never looked back on their way to the opening set victory. St. John’s held the control for most of the second set, getting an early flurry of points and eventually taking a 9-5 lead. Marquette popped off the next four points, though, including two kills from Barber. That tied things at nine, but another 4-0 run for MU made it 15-13. The Golden Eagles asserted their control down the stretch, turning that 4-0 run into a 14-5 that allowed them to wander away with the 2-0 lead.
The third set looked to be competitive, with the two teams tied at eight on a kill from Moss. Things escalated quickly, though, as St. John’s would score just four more times in the match. Yep, that’s right, Marquette went on a 17-4 run to close out the final frame, and one of those four St. John’s points was actually on a service error by Rosenthal.
Barber led all attackers with a 14 kill performance, and she was dominant in her effort as well, hitting .478. Anna Haak missed out on a double-double by just one dig, as she hit .429 to register 11 kills on the evening. She still had a match high in digs, though, tying St. John’s Delaney D’Amore with nine. Rosenthal made a statement as one of the most dominant game-altering forces in the Big East, hitting .625 to record six kills on eight swings. She also had two digs and three assisted blocks, bringing her career total to 316. That pushes her past Meghan Devine at 314 for the fifth most in program history. Next up is Jenn Brown at 345, so it might be a while before Rosenthal can eclipse her.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and the Marquette Wire?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles take their 3-0 Big East record to Cincinnati on Wednesday night to tangle with Xavier. The Musketeers are 6-9 on the season and 1-1 in league action after falling in four sets to Butler on Saturday.