If you hit .335 across six sets and your opponent hits .115, you’re probably gonna win most of if not all of those six sets.
That’s what Marquette volleyball did to DePaul over the weekend. The #25 ranked Golden Eagles beat the Blue Demons in both teams’ Big East opener on Friday in straight sets, 25-19, 25-14, and 25-19. Things took a teensy bit longer on Saturday — at least in terms of attacks made — but Marquette still got the 3-0 win on set scores of 25-14, 25-20, and 25-15. MU is now 2-0 in Big East action and sitting easily atop the Midwest Division standings.... mostly because no one else played this weekend, but also because they’re undefeated. The Golden Eagles are also 6-2 on the year as we, believe it or not, hit the halfway point of this slightly weird spring season.
You hate to oversimplify things because it diminishes the effort and hustle put in by the players, but that hitting percentage thing up at the top of the page was the story of the weekend. DePaul hit over .150 in just one of the six sets, and that was the very first one on Friday. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles hit over .200 in every single set and only slipped below .260 once. To put it another way: Marquette committed 17 attack errors total in two matches against DePaul. The Blue Demons committed 18 on Friday and another 22 on Saturday.
I’m trying to be respectful of DePaul here, because they were trying their best. Two things were working against them, I think. The first was just the lack of game action, as Friday was the season debut for the Blue Demons and Marquette had already put six matches in their back pocket before first serve. The second was the current of the history to this series. Marquette has now won 20 straight matches against DePaul, and the Golden Eagles have taken 30 straight sets in the process. Marquette hasn’t lost since 2008. MU head coach Ryan Theis has never lost to DePaul, racking up 14 of those 20 straight victories.
Marquette spread things around on offense on Friday, with Hope Werch’s nine kills on 19 swings leading the way. Five women tallied at least five kills. Saturday was a little bit different, as Taylor Wolf topped the charts at 13 kills without committing a single error on her 27 swings. That’s mighty impressive. MU still got everyone involved with Werch, Savannah Rennie, Hanna Vanden Berg, and Kaitlyn Lines all notching at least five kills.
Because video is fun, here’s some highlights from Saturday, courtesy of GoMarquette.com.
Up Next: First it’s figuring out whether sweeping the Blue Demons was enough to keep the Golden Eagles ranked in the new AVCA top 25 poll when it comes out on Monday. After that, it’s rest, recovery, and game planning for Creighton this coming weekend. The Bluejays come to Milwaukee for the pair of matches that will count towards the Big East standings. With the expectation that the two squads will be capable of going 6-0 in the conference games against the other teams, this coming weekend’s two matches will likely determine who wins the Midwest Division. First serve on both Friday and Saturday is set for 1pm Central, and GoMarquette.com will have the streaming.
Oh, and don’t forget about #Gold4Sarah, Marquette’s campaign to honor and celebrate Sarah Rose, their setter who is receiving treatment for Ewing Sarcoma. You can read more about what’s going on this weekend here.