Here’s some good news from the weekend: Hope Werch broke the Marquette volleyball program record for service aces in a career on Saturday evening in MU’s 3-0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-14) victory over Providence.
Here’s some bad news from the weekend: Marquette lost to #24 Creighton on Friday in four sets (25-23, 23-25, 25-12, 25-20) and thus dropped into a tie with the Bluejays for first place in the Big East. The next day, Creighton went down to Chicago and defeated DePaul to move both MU and CU to 10-2 in league play with six matches left to go for each team.
Here’s the long and short of it: Marquette and Creighton played a pair of back-and-forth and not quite particularly aesthetically pleasing sets to open Friday’s action. The Bluejays won the first set followed by Marquette rallying from down five, 16-11, to win 25-23 and even the match at one set each.
After that, the wheels fell off for the Golden Eagles. Creighton got out to a 9-4 lead early in the third before eventually booming that out to 10 points at 19-9 and coasting to victory. In the fourth, Creighton built a 12-7 lead early and used that five point margin to be able to hold Marquette at bay the rest of the way. The Golden Eagles fended off match point four times to make the fourth set look much closer than it actually was, and that was that.
Not a very fun way to see that match end, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Wanna watch some highlights, courtesy of FloSports and GoMarquette.com?
Onwards to Saturday.
Let’s talk about how this match started, because it was weird. Not the 2-1 on the scoreboard, I mean the delay as the Friars and the referee on the bench side figured something out.
Nearly immediately after Taylor Wolf’s kill, MU head coach Ryan Theis raises a question of some sort to the referee. This happens at the 20:53 mark of the archived version of the MUTV stream of the game. Service on the fourth point of the match does not come until the 27:36 mark. Nearly SEVEN MINUTES went by as the referee and the official scorers figured something out.
I still don’t know what the hell happened here. The referee was literally out on the court directing traffic.
Here’s my issue: Why is it the ref’s job to make sure Providence is in the right place? Volleyball actually has a rotation violation call in the rule book. If PC was doing something wrong, then flag them for the violation, issue Marquette a point, and let’s keep it moving. I know this to be the case because I’ve seen rotation violations happen in the past at the McGuire Center..... and PROVIDENCE COMMITTED ONE SEVEN POINTS AFTER THIS SEVEN MINUTE DELAY. It’s the ref’s job to make calls. Let the Friars screw up, and then blow the whistle when you need to.
Marquette went on an 8-1 run after whatever that was and never worried about the Friars for .... well, I was going to type “the rest of the set” but really it was for the rest of the match. Providence would lead just once all evening, and that came when they took a 3-2 lead on a kill from Emma Fink in the second set. MU responded to that with a 5-0 run. Yes, yes, PC managed to stay within shouting distance for a while, cutting it to just one point at 11-10, but Marquette answered that with a 5-1 burst to go up 16-11 and send them on their way to the 25-18 win.
Providence almost had a lead in the third set, but a challenge by Marquette was successful and thus the score was 8-7 in MU’s favor instead of against them. MU cranking it up to 14-10 led to a PC timeout and a 7-0 run shortly thereafter ended all of the mystery of the match. One of the points on that 7-0 run was Hope Werch’s second service ace of the match, and that’s the one that broke Christine Norgle’s 33 year old program record of 177 aces.
Here’s #178, dropped right in where Providence thought it was going out:
Hope Werch is now Marquette's career leader in service aces. She broke the 33-year old record in the third set last night against Providence. #WeAreMarquette pic.twitter.com/IziGwBkiEs— Marquette Volleyball (@MarquetteVB) October 31, 2021
Up Next: Marquette will be back out on the court on Friday evening when they visit Seton Hall with first serve set for 5pm Central. The Pirates are just 12-14 overall this season and 4-8 in Big East play after defeating Georgetown on Saturday to snap a two match skid. Saturday brings with it a trip to Queens and an afternoon match with St. John’s. That one is set to start at 3pm Central on FloSports. SJU is 14-12 overall and 5-7 in Big East action after alternating wins and losses in their last four matches.