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#17 Marquette Makes Quick Work Of Georgetown & Villanova

This recap waited til Monday to see if Marquette got the help they needed on Sunday to clinch a bye to the semifinals. Thanks for nothing, Providence.

Caroline Dragani
Caroline Dragani ripped off four aces in a 10-0 set clinching run for the Golden Eagles against Villanova on Saturday.
Marquette Athletics

On Friday, #17 Marquette volleyball picked up a lightning quick 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-10) sweep of Georgetown. They followed that up by dispatching Villanova 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-18) on Saturday evening. That moved Marquette’s record to 22-2 overall and 13-1 in Big East play, and wrapped them up for the weekend.

It didn’t wrap up action in the Big East for the weekend though, and Sunday’s matches were still of interest to the Golden Eagles. Xavier fell 3-1 at home to Connecticut on Friday, and if Providence could generate the same result on Sunday, that would clinch a bye to the semifinals for Marquette along with a top two finish in the league.

That did not happen, as Xavier picked up the 3-0 victory over the Friars. That leaves the Musketeers at 9-5 in conference matches and thus still capable of tying Marquette in the standings with four matches left to be played.

My goodness, what a bummer to have only locked up a top three finish in the league with four matches left to go.

Do I think it is very funny that Marquette can clinch that semifinal bye with a win in their next match..... which happens to be against the same Friars team that failed to help MU out on Sunday? Yeah, a little bit.

On to the recappery!

Georgetown’s not good, everyone. They hit a flat .000 in both of the final two sets of Friday’s match and only a .207 in the first frame, their most competitive one of the night, allowed them to stay in positive territory on the night. That was going against Marquette hitting .366 across the three sets, and you can see why the scores accelerated in MU’s direction as the match went along.

While Set #1 was the most competitive one, it was decided early. After head coach Ryan Theis showed maybe the most frustration that I’ve ever seen from him on the second point of the contest (the referees ruled interference on Marquette, this prompted a loooooooong conversation between the two officials and Theis was not happy about that, either), the players elected to let their coach know that he doesn’t need to worry about the officiating. They popped off an 8-0 run to take a 9-2 lead. That run included Theis making a challenge on the third point, and you’ve never seen someone show the challenge card to an official in a more sarcastic manner. Anyway, the players made the whole thing academic: 9-2 became 12-4 turned into 14-5 went to 18-8. They traded points with the Hoyas from there until Jenna Reitsma, who was firing off rocket shots all night, landed a kill to win the first.

Set #2 turned in the later stages, even though Marquette got out to a 6-2 lead early. Georgetown hung around for a minute, keeping it at a four point margin at 14-10. A service error by GU’s Chanelle Smith tipped off a 5-0 Marquette run, and the Golden Eagles could see the finish line from there. The Hoyas managed a few more points, but Marquette closed it off with another 5-0 run that included a pair of service aces from setter Yadhira Anchante.

That 5-0 run to end the second turned into a 13-0 run overall as Marquette started off the third with an 8-0 stretch. They did this, by the way, with Aubrey Hamilton and Carsen Murray on the bench for the entirety of the third set as Theis elected to give his starters a rest and get his bench some work. 10-1, 14-4, 16-5, 19-6, 23-7. Yes, Marquette led 23-7 and were maybe a Caroline Dragani service error away from holding Georgetown to just seven points the entire set. They finagled a few more points, but freshman Sienna Ifill got a chance to end the whole deal with one of her two kills of the night.

Between the bench getting in there and Georgetown doing Marquette some favors, the Golden Eagles spread around only 40 kills on their 75 points. Reitsma and Hamilton tied for the team lead with nine, although advantage Hamilton for doing it in just two sets. Hamilton hit a very bananas .667 on 12 swings in her two sets of action to get there. Anchante put up 31 assists to go with five kills, four aces, three assisted blocks, and four digs on the day. It was a slow day in the digs department as well, with Carly Skrabak getting the team lead at nine.

How about some highlights, courtesy of and FloSports?

Villanova is not having a good season as they sit in 10th place in the standings on Monday morning, but they gave Marquette a quality battle on Saturday night. The first set was 5-1 in Marquette’s favor out of the gate, and the Golden Eagles would lead by as many as 11 at one point, as an attacking error from VU’s Kiera Booth made it 21-10 in the late stages. VU didn’t let Marquette slam the door on them and took three of the next four points. MU put themselves up to set point, but Nova took three in a row to prolong it a liiiitle bit before Aubrey Hamilton ended it.

Set #2 was much more competitive as perhaps Villanova got their feet underneath them. The Wildcats got out to an 8-3 lead on a service ace by Maddie Schieder and the Golden Eagles would need a 7-1 run to take a 12-11 lead on a kill by Hamilton. From there, Marquette just stepped on the gas. That 7-1 just kept on chugging until it was 14-4 and Marquette was up 19-14 on an ace by Carly Skrabak. That looks like it was insurmountable based on how things were going, but Villanova had their own run in their pocked. They popped off five of the next six, and the only point that MU got in there was a service error gift. Still, MU was still up 20-19 after Izzy Plummer’s kill to end that Nova burst and they went up three on a kill from Yadhira Anchante and an ace from Jenna Reitsma. 22-19, and they could just trade points back and forth until Ella Foti got Marquette to 25.

The third frame was going in the same direction as the second with the Wildcats holding the early advantage. Plummer and Madeline Barber jammed a Hamilton attack for a block, and that put VU up 10-6. A kill from Hattie Bray on the next point brought the serve back to Marquette, and reserve setter Caroline Dragani subbed in as the serving specialist.


Three points later, ace.

Three points later, ace.

Two points later, ace.

Four aces from Dragani amidst a 10-0 run for the Golden Eagles flipped the game to 16-10 in their favor. The two teams traded 3-0 swings, so it was 19-13 after a block by Hamilton and Carsen Murray. A few back-and-forths went by, and three straight from the Golden Eagles — two Anchante kills with a Bray solo stuff in the middle — wrapped things up, and much quicker than expected after those first 16 points.

Hamilton led the squad with 12 kills as MU only needed 45 to get to 75 total points in the match. Part of that was holding the Wildcats to just .173 hitting of course, but the Golden Eagles generated 11 points on service aces as Dragani finished the night with five all by herself. Anchate had a double-double on 34 assists and 11 digs, but it was Carly Skrabak leading the way on defense with 13 digs.

How about some highlights, courtesy of and FloSports?

Up Next: Marquette returns to action with a pair of East Coast contests this weekend. It is possible that the Golden Eagles will have locked up that semifinals bye when they start off on the road against Providence at Noon Central time on Saturday. Xavier is hosting Seton Hall on Friday night, and if the Pirates get the road win, that locks MU into a top two finish. After the Friars on Saturday, Marquette will move slightly down the road to tangle with UConn on Sunday, also with a Noon Central time start. For those of you interested in scoreboard watching, Creighton will host St. John’s on Friday and Seton Hall on Sunday.