We got our first objectively bad result of the timeshifted fall schedule this weekend.
On Friday afternoon, #24 Marquette volleyball fell in five sets to Butler with set scores of 18-25, 25-15, 25-17, 18-25, and 7-15. The Golden Eagles dropped to 8-3 on the year and 3-2 in Big East play as a result of that defeat, and when the new AVCA poll comes out on Monday, they will likely not be ranked for the first time since the 2018 season. It also may have cost Marquette the Midwest Division regular season title, as Creighton is only toting around their loss to Marquette so far this season.
MU bounced back from the loss on Friday to rifle through the Bulldogs down in Indianapolis on Saturday, winning with sets of 25-17, 25-22, and 25-12. That moved Marquette to 9-3 on the season and 4-2 in the conference. Butler drops to 4-6 overall and 1-3 in the Big East, so you can see why I said that this will probably cost MU their top 25 status.
Sometimes you don’t have to overthink things when it comes to explaining why Marquette lost 24 hours before winning somewhat easily against the same team. On Friday, Marquette hit .089 as a team across all five sets and hit better than .160 in just one of the four sets. MU didn’t even clear .100 in the first, fourth, and fifth sets — the three that they lost, you’ll notice — including a woefully awful -.083 as they got ran off the court in the fifth set. Savannah Rennie was the only Marquette player with anything resembling a respectable day, hitting .267 with 12 kills on 30 swings. No one else on the team cleared .200.
On Saturday? Marquette hit .287 as a team, and that’s only because they hit .167 in the third. MU went .348 and .325 in sets 1 and 2 and then cruised to a 25-12 win in the third set even while struggling a little bit because Butler — and this is not a joke — had three kills and nine errors on 28 swings for a hitting percentage of -.214. That’s negative two fourteen.
Yeah. That’s how you roll through in three after losing in five 24 hours earlier. The Big Question, of course, is how did Marquette do that
I could dive deeper into this for recapping purposes, but I don’t think that’s necessary. Marquette lost a match 1) that they shouldn’t have 2) that they clearly want back, based on their less than celebratory physical reactions to closing Butler out on Saturday 3) that might keep them out of the reduced size NCAA field when that’s announced in a few weeks. It’ll be up to head coach Ryan Theis to rally the troops and close out the regular season strong.
Up Next: Marquette has just two Big East matches left to go. They’ll be in Cincinnati next weekend for a pair of contests against Xavier. The Musketeers are 4-4 overall this spring and 1-1 in the Big East after splitting a set with DePaul and having a series with Creighton postponed. They’ll host Dayton on Tuesday before MU comes to town.