Marquette volleyball did what they needed to do on their road trip out east to start off Big East play over the weekend: Pick up two wins.
The Golden Eagles defeated Villanova 3-1 (20-25, 25-14, 26-23, 25-15) on Friday night, and then less than 24 hours later, they swept Georgetown 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-23) to move to 2-0 in conference play and 11-2 overall this season. After one weekend of Big East action, Marquette is in a four-way tie for first place with Creighton (no surprise there), Connecticut, and DePaul.
While the end result was good, things did not start out well for Marquette on their road trip. With defensive specialist Katie Schoessow not even with the team on the trip, the Golden Eagles hit just .081 in the first set of the weekend against the Wildcats and allowed their hosts to hit .303 against them as Villanova won the first set. Marquette had the early 7-3 lead off a kill by Savannah Rennie, but a combination of three errors by the Golden Eagles allowed the Wildcats to rip off six straight points and nine of the next 10 to take a 12-8 lead. MU could barely put two points together after that and Villanova kept them at arm’s length for the rest of the frame.
Set #2 against VU and, to a certain extent, the rest of the match kind of went like a boxing match where one fighter doesn’t get going until the other fighter busts them open. Once Marquette saw their own blood after losing that first set, they were on fire. A 7-3 lead in the early going turned into 15-6 and then quickly 17-7 after Marquette ran off seven straight points powered by a pair of aces by Hope Werch. Villanova managed to right the ship a little bit and make this thing look vaguely competitive, but a kill by Jenna Reitsma gave MU the 25-14 win.
The “certain extent” came through in the third set when Villanova refused to roll over. Marquette led 9-5 early, but eventually, after an attack error by Hannah Vanden Berg, Villanova had bounced back to take a 15-14 lead. Five straight for Marquette with HVB serving turned the tide, probably for good, as MU went up 19-15, but the Wildcats didn’t go away, either. This one was tied at 22 after kills from Nova’s Sanaa Barnes and Riley Homer, but a kill from Carsen Murray was followed by a block from Savannah Rennie and Taylor Wolf to move Marquette to set point, and setter Claire Mosher sent a ball over that VU couldn’t do a damn thing with to get the 25-23 win.
Marquette put Villanova away early in the fourth set to eliminate any threat of a decisive fifth frame. A block from Rennie and Vanden Berg made it 9-3 early, and a setting error by the Wildcats capped a 6-0 run a little later on that left Marquette up 18-7. Villanova did fend off match point three times late, but a service error by VU’s Dani Ortiz gave Marquette the win in anticlimatic fashion.
Hope Werch was your top scorer on the night, putting up 13 kills and hitting .300 for Marquette. Taylor Wolf had the setting advantage on Claire Mosher, 22-19, while Carly Skrabak had 20 digs as libero and Hannah Vanden Berg added 10 to the cause.
Wanna watch some highlights, courtesy of FloSports and GoMarquette.com? If anybody knows what Villanova is doing with the painted volleyball court at Jake Nevin Fieldhouse with the basketball lines still painted on the floor as well, please let me know.
That was Friday night, and on Saturday afternoon, Marquette was 143 miles down I-95 for an encounter with Georgetown. It was a quick turnaround for both sides, as the Hoyas had hosted DePaul less than 24 hours earlier, but they didn’t have to travel of course. Still, it was pretty much all Golden Eagles all the time as they never hit worse than .229 on the day while holding Georgetown to a .173 hitting percentage across the whole match.
Marquette took the early advantage and a 4-0 burst capped by a block from Carsen Murray and Taylor Wolf put the Golden Eagles up 14-8. Then it was Georgetown’s turn to shine, like this was a pro wrestling match with the two teams taking turns, and the Hoyas closed the gap to 15-14 after a Savannah Rennie attack got blocked. Seven of the next nine points after that went to Marquette and a kill from Hannah Vanden Berg put MU up 22-16 and gave the Golden Eagles the space they needed to close it out at 25-18.
The second set stayed close through the first half of it as MU’s Anastasija Svetnik missed on an attack that let Georgetown tie the thing up at 12 each. Marquette scored the next three points, though, and six of the next eight to go up 18-14. An ace from Claire Mosher a little later on made it 22-16 and after Georgetown made some plays to stay in the neighborhood, the Golden Eagles closed it out on a kill from Jenna Reitsma and a combo block from Wolf and Rennie.
The Hoyas had the early 6-3 advantage in the third set, but Marquette turned things around right after that. Vanden Berg put MU in front 7-6 and then made it a two point margin at 9-7 shortly thereafter. GU wasn’t going quietly, though, and they then popped off four straight and five of the next six to go up 12-10. You could say it was back and forth from there, or if you wanted to be favorable to the home team, you could probably say that Marquette was the team doing the chasing. The result was in doubt all the way to the end, with the Hoyas using a block to tie it at 22, and a kill from GU’s Giselle Williams fended off match point and made it 24-23. But Taylor Wolf did Taylor Wolf things, and that was that.
Wolf topped the charts for both teams with 17 kills and an absolutely ridiculous .516 hitting percentage on the day, while Jenna Reitsma added 12 kills, which was more than any one Hoya put up on the board. As you might expect, Claire Mosher had the better passing day in her regular contest with Wolf, getting 25 assists against Wolf’s 16, but that’s what happens when Wolf is so ferocious on the attack. Carly Skrabak was great at libero with 19 digs and Reitsma ended up with a double-double after adding 11 digs as well.
Here’s some highlights for you, thanks to FloSports and GoMarquette.com:
We’ve got to get some better lights in McDonough Arena.
Up Next: It’s a weekend sport, so of course Marquette will be off until next Friday. The Golden Eagles will host Connecticut with first serve set for 5pm Central, and if you want to attend Marquette Madness later that evening, well, let me just say that they will not be clearing out the building between the end of the match and Madness. After that, Marquette will trip on down I-94 on Sunday afternoon for an encounter with DePaul at 3pm Central. As mentioned earlier, both of these squads went 2-0 in their opening weekends as well, so the Golden Eagles will get a prime opportunity to dictate terms in the standings going forward.