If you were wondering if we would see a one-loss Marquette team host undefeated Creighton on October 26th, well, it appears that the Golden Eagles have their minds set on holding up their end of the bargain.
On Wednesday night, #19 ranked Marquette hit .398 as a team and beat Butler 3-0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-22). Marquette is now 15-4 overall and 6-1 in Big East play with just two matches left in the first pass through the league.
Things are going well.
Speaking of going well, that could be a simple description for how the first two sets went, too. An early 8-1 run by the Golden Eagles put them up 11-4 in the first off an attack error by Butler’s Brooke Gregory. Marquette kept the good times going, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-5 over the next 18 points as another attack error by Gregory had MU on the verge of ending the match without letting Butler hit double digits. Two kills by Gregory and an error by MU’s Elizabeth Orf extended the set a little bit, but Allie Barber struck for her fifth kill of the frame to wrap things up.
A 6-1 run early in the second gave Marquette an 11-5 advantage after a kill by Anna Haak, and a 5-1 flurry capped by a kill by Hope Werch made it 19-11. The rest of the way was merely academic, as Marquette allowed just two more points from the Bulldogs and freshman Ellie Koontz made a rare appearance and recorded her lone kill and attack of the day for the win.
The third set was a different story, although Marquette had an 8-5 advantage early. Butler popped off the next three points to level things out, and the two teams traded points from there until BU got a second in a row to take a 12-11 lead. A wild series of service errors and service aces left the score at 15-14 favoring Marquette, but it was tied again at 16 on a kill from Gregory. Kills from Haak and Orf followed by a BU error tilted things in favor of Marquette, and a late 4-0 run featuring three kills by Barber gave MU a 23-18 lead. Still, even at that point, Butler kept fighting to pull within two at 24-22 before Barber’s 17th kill of the night gave Marquette the straight sets victory.
Marquette held Butler’s hitting percentage under .110 in the first two sets, including a flat .000 in the first set, but the Bulldogs rallied to hit .355 in the third to cause problems for MU. The Golden Eagles didn’t suffer a power outage to help Butler’s cause, at least not technically. They hit .351 in the third, which was their lowest rate of the match. However, it’ll be a cold day in hell before you catch anyone ever referring to a .351 set as even subpar.
Barber led the way with 17 kills in just three sets, boosting her per-set season average to 4.53. Haak added her third double-double of the season with 11 digs and 10 kills. Jenna Rosenthal hit .562 on the night to get to nine kills and added an assisted block early in the match to extend her two career blocks records. Lauren Speckman and Sarah Rose ended up mostly even in assists, going for 21 and 18 respectively.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Marquette heads out east with their national ranking this weekend for a pair of matches. They’ll face St. John’s (15-7, 4-3 Big East) on Friday night and Seton Hall (6-14, 1-6 Big East) on Saturday night. These two will complete MU’s first pass through the league schedule, giving the Golden Eagles one match against every other team.