A Friday night sweep and a Saturday night victory were in the cards for Marquette volleyball this past weekend, but that 2-0 record at the McGuire Center might not have been the best news of the weekend for the Golden Eagles. Thanks to Connecticut knocking off then-#19 Creighton in five sets on Saturday for their program’s first ever win over a ranked opponent, Marquette is the only one-loss team in the league and thus the Golden Eagles are alone in first place yet again!
Friday’s win over St. John’s was a 3-0 sweep, but with set scores of 25-23, 25-23, and 25-22, you can’t say it was easy. In fact, the Red Storm actually outhit Marquette in both of the first two sets, which is why they were in both of them until the very end. Why didn’t they win them? Self-inflicted mistakes.
Hitting errors are common, sometimes you just miss a little left or a little long. Not a big deal. However, St. John’s just could not get out of their own way against Marquette. The Golden Eagles scored five points on service errors by the Johnnies in the first set alone. A handling error and three more service errors — including a service delay call — by SJU helped keep Marquette out in front in the second set before Hope Werch closed it out with a kill.
The third set was the one MU won from a hitting percentage perspective, and the Golden Eagles were cruising along pretty easily through most of it. Not a huge lead mind you, but one where you weren’t worried about any one mistake. At least, that was the case for most of the set. A 5-1 run by the Johnnies capped by a kill from Giorgia Walther pulled St. John’s within one at 22-21. Then Werch decided to just trade kills with Walther, and that led to the 25th point in MU’s favor.
Marquette was led on the night by 14 kills from Taylor Wolf, and those last three down the stretch from Werch pushed her into double digits at 11. Claire Mosher won the passing battle with Wolf with 24 assists, while Carly Skrabak had 19 digs, the most of anyone in the match.
Wanna watch some highlights courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloSports?
While Marquette benefited greatly from assistance from St. John’s on Friday, that didn’t particularly help the Golden Eagles get fired up on Saturday when Seton Hall came to town. The two teams split the first two sets — 25-21 to MU, 25-22 to SHU — before MU came alive after dropping the second set and then ran away with the final two frames for the 3-1 win.
The first set should have had a much bigger margin of victory after a combo block by Carsen Murray and Taylor Wolf capped off an 8-0 run by the Golden Eagles that left them up 24-18. Seton Hall then fended off set point three straight times to make that thing look closer than it really was before Hannah Vanden Berg closed it out.
In the second set, Marquette used a 4-0 run featuring two bad sets from SHU’s Cagla Bengi to get out in front 19-18 late. Four of the next five points went to the Pirates, though, and a service error from freshman Jadyn Garrison and a kill from Amanda Rachwal knotted the match up at one each.
All MU early in the third, as the Golden Eagles went up 6-2 on a kill from Vanden Berg (this is a theme) and that turned into 11-3 and eventually 13-4 and 15-5. It was all pretty much over except for the shouting, and Katie Schoessow laid down two straight aces to give MU the win.
After some early back and forth in the fourth, an error by Rachwal put Marquette up 10-6, and a kill by Taylor Wolf made it 12-8 a little later on. A 4-1 burst made it 16-10, but MU needed one final 4-1 burst to go up 23-18 to finally push away from the Pirates. Vanden Berg and Savannah Rennie partnered on a block for point #24 and #25 came from a Taylor Wolf service ace.
As alluded to, this match was the Hannah Vanden Berg show. The 6’2” redshirt sophomore put down 16 kills on an error-free 29 swings on the night to hit .552 in the match. She also had two blocks and six digs for a nice well-rounded evening.
Hope Werch and Savannah Rennie tied for second place with 13 kills, while Taylor Wolf added 12. Claire Mosher had 27 helpers against 24 from Wolf, and Carly Skrabak led a trio of MU players with 10+ digs with 20 of her own in four sets.
Let’s go to the highlights, courtesy of the Marquette Wire and GoMarquette.com!
Up Next: Well, as luck would have it, Marquette’s next three matches are against the teams that are 2-3-4 in the Big East standings right now. First up, in a weird Wednesday matinee, Marquette will host DePaul in Milwaukee. I don’t know why first serve is scheduled for Noon Central, but it is. After that, MU will be out east on Saturday for a road date against Connecticut. Those two matches will be Marquette’s last contests before they face off against Creighton for the second time this season, so this week’s matches will have the potential to set up a match to decide first place in the Big East.