After both #19 Marquette and Illinois State beat #25 Illinois in five sets on Saturday, I expected quite the rousing match between the Golden Eagles and Redbirds at the McGuire Center on Sunday afternoon. Two good volleyball teams, one with a little bit more to prove (Illinois State, in this case), than the other, both coming off a long drawn out match the day before, etc., etc., you get the picture.
Nope, not what happened!
Marquette never hit worse than .320 in any of the three sets while never letting Illinois State go north of .140 on their end of the court, and bang zoom, the Golden Eagles win 3-0 on scores of 25-15, 25-17, and 25-18. MU is now 9-1 on the year with non-conference play wrapped up and undefeated at home so far through six matches this season.
Marquette did not waste time making their point in this match. The Golden Eagles ripped off five straight points to take an 8-2 lead in the early goings of the first set, and that turned into a 12-1 run that left Marquette up 15-3. Yeah. ISU did claw their way back in to cut the margin to just four, 18-14, because again, this is a good volleyball team that’s the favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference this season, but Marquette just said “nah,” and scored seven of the final eight points of the set to win 25-15.
The second set was not entirely different as Marquette started off a 7-1 run with an Illinois State service error and closed it by inducing three straight attacking errors from the Redbirds, although one of those was a solo block by Hattie Bray. 11-4 Marquette at that point, and an ace shortly thereafter by Ella Foti made it 15-5. 10 points is as far as Marquette would be able to push that lead, although they got back there at 22-12 on a solo block by Jenna Reitsma, and a solo block by Carsen Murray gave the Golden Eagles the 2-0 lead.
Onwards to Set 3 where Marquette started off up 8-3 on a kill by Yadhira Anchante. A 6-1 run capped by a handling error by ISU’s Sarah Kushner made it 17-9, and you get the idea of where this is going. The Golden Eagles had the Redbirds on the outside looking in, and while they closed it to five points, they couldn’t get closer before back-to-back kills for Aubrey Hamilton wrapped up the entire afternoon.
Hamilton was the offensive leader for the entire match as the only woman to clear 10 kills on the day. She had 15 and ISU had no idea what to do with her as she hit .560 on 25 swings. Hattie Bray and Carsen Murray both hit over .500 from the middle while recording seven and six kills respectively, and Yadhira Anchante kept the whole thing humming with 34 assists in just three sets.
Jenna Reitsma didn’t have the offensive game that she had on Saturday against Illinois, finishing with just seven kills and hitting .083, but she had a match high 12 digs to continue to contribute anyway. Carly Skrabak was the only other player in the match to have double digit digs, and she had 10 on the button.
How about some highlights, courtesy of FloSports and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Big East play! Yep, it’s that time already. Marquette starts off their quest for the program’s first ever consecutive regular season conference championships when they face DePaul on Wednesday night. First serve against the Blue Demons at the McGuire Center is scheduled for 7pm Central time. DePaul was expected to be a quality team by way of the preseason vote of the coaches in the league, but they are just 4-8 so far and are coming into Wednesday with losses in two of their last three matches.