Business trip completed with all business attended to.
#12 Marquette volleyball recovered from their first Big East loss of the season last weekend by going out and stomping Villanova and Georgetown this weekend. Both matches resulted in 3-0 wins for the Golden Eagles, even though Lauren Speckman and KJ Lines sat out as they did against Providence a week ago. MU downed Villanova with set scores of 25-22, 25-22, and 25-19 on Friday night, and then followed up with 25-15, 25-10, and 25-17 against Georgetown less than 24 hours later.
With the wins, Marquette is now 17-3 overall on the season and 7-1 in the Big East. The win over Villanova granted the second place Golden Eagles a two game lead over a three-way tie for third that includes the Wildcats in the Big East standings.
That’s about what you might have expected for those matches heading in, as the Wildcats are the clearly superior opponent at the moment. In the first set against VU, Marquette ended up needing to rally to win. A service ace from Clare Delaplane had the Wildcats up 14-10 midway through, but a kill by Hope Werch knotted the thing up at 16. Marquette just edged away from Nova after that, and after the Wildcats fended off set point twice, a kill from Hannah Vanden Berg wrapped it up.
It was Marquette with the early lead in the second set, as Vanden Berg laid in a kill to put MU up 9-5. The Wildcats weren’t shaken by this, and they tied it up at 12 each. Marquette built a three point lead twice after this, but a block on Allie Barber by Allie Olsonoski and Sanaa Barnes tied the match back up at 21. MU answered with a kill from Barber and caught a break on an error by Delaplane to go up 23-21, and after a Barber service error, a kill by Madeline Mosher and an ace from Werch had MU up two sets to one.
The third set had Marquette taking three straight points to go up 12-9 and holding the Wildcats at arm’s length the rest of of the way. Four point lead, five point lead, seven point lead, eight point lead. The Wildcats scored a few late to make it look interesting, but two were on errors by the Golden Eagles, and Werch notched the match winning kill.
Barber racked up 18 kills and hit a hard to beat .484 on 31 swings. Vanden Berg and Werch both finished with nine kills, while Claire Mosher and Sarah Rose split setting duties at 24 and 15 assists respectively. Martha Konvodoff left the Philly area with a match high 12 digs.
If you thought Allie Barber was good against Villanova, check out her line against Georgetown: 11 kills on 21 error-free swings to hit .524. Add in a service ace, two assisted blocks, and four digs, and that’s one heck of a night for MU’s star hitter.
The first set was the best one from the Hoyas, as they hit .167. Then again, they also allowed Marquette to hit a whopping .611 in that same frame, so it wasn’t all great. The whole thing flipped around following a service error by Martha Konovodoff that pulled GU within one at 11-10. The next five points were all Marquette: Two kills, two blocks, and one Hoya hitting error. By the time it was done, Marquette was up 16-10 and Georgetown didn’t have any timeouts remaining. A pair of 4-1 runs following that was all that MU needed, and GU’s Elissa Barbosa whiffed on a serve to hand Marquette the first set.
The second set: 4-3 Marquette turned into 7-4 Marquette turned into 13-4 Marquette. At that point, seven of MU’s points were on Georgetown errors of one stripe or another, and things were totally out of control. A 3-0 Hoya run was answered with an 8-1 Marquette run, and that was that for the second.
Marquette ripped off a 5-0 run early in the third to take a 9-4 lead, but Georgetown didn’t roll over and go away. A kill from Iva Jujosevic cut MU’s lead to just two at 11-9, but Georgetown wouldn’t score consecutive points again until Marquette had built a six point lead. Marquette slammed the door on the Hoyas with a 6-2 run where a hitting error and a service error by Georgetown helped out the cause.
While 11 kills is a quiet night for Barber, it still led the team and tied with Vujosevic for the match high. Claire Mosher carried the water in the setting department with 23 assists as Sarah Rose tallied eight helpers and Konvodoff added four of her own to go with her match high 11 digs.
Up Next: Next weekend brings another road trip for the Golden Eagles. They’ll be out in the New York City area for their first rematches of league play. First it’s St. John’s (13-8, 5-3 Big East) on Friday night, followed by Seton Hall (7-15, 2-6 Big East) on Saturday afternoon. That short turnaround is less egregious when you can stay at the same hotel during the entire trip.