Marquette volleyball had to overcome a teeny bit of adversity on Wednesday night in Chicago as they dropped their first set to DePaul, 25-21. The #25 ranked Golden Eagles recovered from there with set scores of 25-20, 25-21, and 25-19 to get the 3-1 victory over the Blue Demons. MU is now 12-1 in Big East play and the win locked up a top five finish in the league this season, and with six teams qualifying for the conference tournament, they’ve locked down a spot in the field there as well.
Oh, and there’s one more thing that they managed with the win, but we’ll get to that in a minute....
Things looked a little shaky for Marquette out of the gate on Wednesday with DePaul getting out to a 6-2 and 7-3 lead right away. They wiped that away though and tied it at eight on a kill from Anastasija Svetnik, who had a pretty great match overall, but MU wasn’t able to get out in front and create separation in the set. Both sides were essentially just trading points from there on out, up until the late stage. A misfire by DePaul’s Jill Pressly had it at 22-21 DePaul, but the Blue Demons shook that error by their star off and snapped off three straight kills for the 25-21 win.
Cue the Michael Jordan “and I took that personally” meme, and Marquette was up 6-1 in the second. 13-6, 15-7, 17-9, it looked like things were going to cruise to a 1-1 tie..... NOPE. DePaul blasted through seven unanswered points to pull within one at 17-16. The Golden Eagles answered with a 5-1 burst as a quick sub in from Ella Holmstrom for one point resulted in a kill from her and two attacking errors helped the Golden Eagles get up 22-17. DePaul made MU work to get there, but Carsen Murray dropped in a kill and then partnered with Jenna Reitsma for the winner on a block.
The third set turned on a 6-0 run by the Golden Eagles that left them up 18-10 after a kill from Reitsma. That was all they really needed, although DePaul did fend off four straight set points before Murray swatted things to a stop with a kill.
A couple of early bursts in the fourth had Marquette going up 6-3 then 10-6, but it was clear that DePaul felt that they could at least stay with the Golden Eagles, #25 ranking or not. The home team never let the final set get out of control, and the 25-19 final on that one is only because MU scored six of the final eight points, including back-to-back aces from Aubrey Hamilton to win it.
Hamilton led a trio of Golden Eagles who hit double digits in kills with 17. Jenna Reitsma and Carsen Murray both got over 10 as well with 15 and 12 respectively. Marquette’s going to be hard to beat when Hamilton and Murray are north of .220 in hitting and Murray’s flying around at .688. Anastasija Svetnik finished the night with seven kills, three assisted blocks, and four digs, plus a service ace as well. Ella Foti didn’t have much luck in the way of kills as MU’s setter, although she did have three on 11 swings, but she had a double-double on 47 assists and 18 digs as MU still waits for Yadhira Anchante’s possible return from appendicitis.
Up Next: It’s a big one, that’s for sure. On Sunday, Marquette will be in Nebraska for the yearly road showdown with Creighton. The #17 ranked Bluejays are currently a game and a half behind Marquette in the standings at 10-2, and it’s pretty much looking like at least a share of the Big East title is on the line in the match, although not officially. Creighton will have to get through DePaul on Friday night, and 10-2 St. John’s will have something to say about the proceedings down the stretch as well.