In front of a crowd of 975 school kids on Wednesday afternoon, #19 Marquette Golden Eagles volleyball dispatched Xavier Musketeers in just 74 minutes, winning 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-20). Marquette has now won nine straight sets dating back to their 3-0 loss to #10 Creighton down in Omaha, and the Golden Eagles are now 4-1 in Big East play and 13-4 overall.
This one was never really in doubt, both in terms of where the two teams were coming into the match (Xavier is now 4-12 this season) and how the match actually played out. Marquette hit over .340 in every single set, while the Musketeers only cleared .210 in the third. Xavier hit .375 in the final frame, but it kind of didn’t mean anything as MU met the challenge with a .419 hitting performance of their own.
After the standard back-and-forth kind of opening that you see in volleyball, Marquette took control of the first set with a 9-2 run that had them up 11-7 after consecutive attack errors by Xavier. That lead was enough to keep Marquette safe even though the Musketeers didn’t fall by the wayside easily. A kill by Morgan Finn pulled them within two at 20-18 and Marquette needed a 5-1 burst at the end to put the set to bed.
The second set looked like it was going to be close-ish again with Xavier staying within four points of Marquette up through a kill by Laura Grossman leaving MU up 12-9. A kill from Jenna Rosenthal, followed by a block by Rosenthal and Madeline Mosher gave Marquette a five point margin. Before Xavier could blink, the lead quickly became seven as attack errors by the Musketeers betrayed them. Marquette closed out the set with a 4-0 run with two kills from Allie Barber, and the sweep was in sight.
The third set was the closest in terms of final margin, and for a good long while, Xavier actually had control of the thing. A block on Anna Haak by Finn and Jayda Carlton put XU up 14-11, and that three point margin popped back up when MU’s Elizabeth Orf committed a service error to make it 18-15. Marquette stopped messing around after that, ripping off the next four points to take a 19-18 lead on an ace by Sarah Rose. In fact, from the 18-15 mark, Xavier would score just twice more as Marquette rallied to run them out of the building on a 10-2 run. Those attack errors reared their heads again for the Musketeers as MU got their final two points of the day on miscues by Xavier attackers.
Three Marquette hitters recorded double digit kills, led by Allie Barber. The Cedarburg native had 14 kills on just 22 swings to hit .591 on the day. Jenna Rosenthal outdid her to a degree, getting 12 kills on 17 error free swings to hit .706. Rosenthal also recorded two assisted blocks to extend her two career blocking records. Anna Haak was the third in double digits with exactly 10 kills. Haak hit .381 in the match, and generally speaking from last year, if Anna Haak is mowing you down like that, you’re in an awful lot of trouble.
Up Next: It’s a one match weekend for Marquette, as they’ll head south to face DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Demons are just 4-12 this season, but they are coming off back-to-back Big East wins after downing Butler in five sets on Wednesday night.