Hope Werch racked up 12 kills on just 22 attacks on Saturday night as RV Marquette swept Northern Iowa, 3-0, on set scores of 25-18, 25-14, and 25-15. With the win, Marquette moved to 9-2 overall on the season at the end of non-conference play. The win also gave the Golden Eagles the championship for their very own Marquette Invitational after three consecutive three-set victories on Friday and Saturday.
It seemed like we were in store for a highly competitive match on Saturday evening with the visiting perennial NCAA tournament program trading punches with the Golden Eagles. A kill from Kira Fallert pulled UNI even with Marquette at 16 points apiece and it clearly seemed like the first set was up for grabs...... and then the Panthers recorded just one kill the rest of the way and only managed a second point on a service error by Marquette. That’s a 9-2 run to close out the frame and not one particular MU player contributed in a major way. Four different players had a kill and two different players — not even one of the four with a kill — had a service ace.
Marquette closed out the first set on five straight points and that carried over into the second set as a Taylor Wolf ace put MU up 6-2 early. They just kept on going, taking leads of 9-3, 12-4, and 17-6. At that point, you just start playing “don’t make any mistakes” volleyball, and an ace from Claire Mosher wrapped it up at 25-14.
More of the same came along in the third set as a block from Savannah Rennie and Hannah Vanden Berg posted the Golden Eagles to a 7-2 lead out of the gate. Northern Iowa showed some friskiness when they cut it to 9-7, and they were in the ballpark when an ace from Jenna Brandt had Marquette only up three at 12-9. MU scored the next four points, though, and head coach Ryan Theis started emptying his bench. That’s how you end up with Anastasija Svetnik getting the final kill of the match to give MU the win.
It was a demolition across the board as Marquette nearly doubled up the Panthers in total points, 62-34, and the Golden Eagles outhit the opposition .370 to just .077. In fact, Northern Iowa never hit better than .140 in any single set including a flat .000 in the third frame. Mosher and Wolf were pretty even on the passing game with 16 and 14 assists respectively, while five different Golden Eagles recorded at least five digs in the match.
Savannah Rennie was named MVP of the Marquette Invitational. She averaged 3.22 kills per set over the weekend while hitting a kind of silly .481 across the nine sets. Rennie also chipped in just over a dig per set and 1.44 blocks per frame as well, and her two aces against UTSA didn’t hurt. Claire Mosher was included on the all-tournament team with a 4.11 assist/set average while splitting time with Taylor Wolf at setter. Mosher also added 1.56 digs and had three aces over the weekend.
How about some highlights, courtesy of the Marquette Wire and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Big East play! Marquette’s 18 game conference slate gets started on Friday evening when they visit Villanova. First serve on FloSports is set for 6pm Central. The Wildcats are 8-4 on the year after going 2-1 at a tournament hosted by Temple over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, Marquette will tangle with Georgetown with match time set for 3pm Central. The Hoyas are 4-7 this fall and on a four match losing streak.