There was a big dramatic moment for the history books that happened over the weekend for Marquette volleyball, and then a slightly smaller less dramatic note by the time MU’s two matches had wrapped up. Let’s go in order, shall we?
The big ticket item is, of course, that Allie Barber has broken Marquette’s all-time career kills record. She did it not for Marquette’s first point of the match on Friday, but she did it for the second and her first kill of the night. Barber’s record tying kill came on MU’s match winner last weekend against DePaul down in Chicago, so it was really just a matter of the 6’5” senior from Cedarburg being out on the court in order to get the record breaker.
Here’s how it went down:
Have a look at history. Allie Barber becomes the #muvb all-time kills leader! pic.twitter.com/r2AqCwPWoc— Marquette Volleyball (@MarquetteVB) November 16, 2019
The smaller dramatic note was the end result of the weekend for Marquette. They won both of their matches, both in four sets. Georgetown took the second set from Marquette as the Golden Eagles won, 25-11, 20-25, 25-14, and 25-17. Saturday night’s contest was a little bit more on the edge, as MU beat Villanova 3-1 after the Wildcats took the first set. It was 23-25 in the first and 26-24 in the second before MU closed out with sets of 25-18 and 25-19.
The reason why it was a smaller dramatic note is that Marquette is now 15-1 in Big East play. With the pair of wins, two things happened. First, Marquette has now guaranteed themselves a top two finish in the Big East. They had already clinched a spot in the Big East tournament, but now it’s top two only for the Golden Eagles. The other part actually needed a helping hand on Sunday, as that’s how Creighton’s schedule for the weekend shook out, which is why this is going up on Sunday night.
Creighton also went 2-0 over the weekend, also moving themselves to 15-1. Obviously, the two teams are tied atop the Big East right now. As luck/the Big East scheduling geniuses would have it, Marquette plays Creighton for the second time this season this coming Friday night. One team will leave with a 15-2 record while the other will be 16-1 and holding onto the Big East regular season championship for the moment. It won’t officially be clinched, as both teams will have to play one more match on Sunday with DePaul visiting Creighton and Marquette heading to Providence.
No offense to anyone involved there, but as top 15 teams, Marquette and Creighton will be favored, probably heavily, to win their final regular season matches. As such, Friday’s contest will kind of actually but not officially quite yet be for all the marbles this year. It’s kind of a big deal!
We’re 450 words into this, so I just want to drop a few extra notes in before we wrap up:
- KJ Lines had knee surgery this past week. The junior transfer has not played since October 2nd and had been wearing a sleeve on her knee for most of the season before that. There is no timetable for her return, but seeing as the next three weeks are Big East regular season finale, Big East tournament, and NCAA tournament, as well as the fact that she was in a giant immobilizing brace on Saturday prrrooooobbably means that Lines won’t play again this season. Hopefully the recovery on her knee is more along the lines of 2-3 months as opposed to 6-8, because it would a huge bummer if the timetable ends up meaning that she’s not ready to go next August.
- Madeline Mosher had not played since taking on an injury against Seton Hall back on October 26th. Based on the big ol’ brace she was wearing on Saturday, I presume it was an ankle injury. However, Mosher did get a chance to play on Saturday, as head coach Ryan Theis inserted her to serve early on in set #1. Villanova ended up winning the point as Mosher served and then never stepped onto the in-bounds playing surface while Marquette played 5-on-6 for the exchange. I can’t imagine what would have happened if the Golden Eagles had gone on a run and Mosher had to keep serving.
- Hope Werch came out of the intermission between the second and third sets on Saturday with a giant amount of wrap on her right thigh. It definitely wasn’t there at the start of the match, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that the minor injury wasn’t there when the match started. With Marquette already down Lines and Mosher at this point of the season, they really can not afford to lose Werch as well. Hannah Vanden Berg has been marvelous as a freshman, but what was a position of strength for Marquette at the start of the season — the hitter opposite Allie Barber — has been rapidly drained of its power over the past six weeks or so.