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#2 Volleyball Falls To #3 St. John’s In Five Sets In Big East Semifinals

The Golden Eagles fell apart at the worst possible times and will have to wait patiently for Selection Sunday.

Marquette volleyball Marquette University

Two days before Selection Sunday is probably not a good time to take your worst RPI loss of the season.

But that’s what Marquette volleyball did on Friday, falling 3-2 in five sets (25-11, 14-25, 25-20, 22-25, 13-15) to St. John’s in the Big East tournament semifinals. Marquette is now 20-10 on the season and will wait to learn their NCAA tournament future on Sunday evening.

Marquette roared through the first set, hitting .444 and holding St. John’s to negative hitting, going up 9-2 out of the gate and then scoring eight straight to close it out. The second set is where the cracks started showing up. Not that St. John’s playing even through 25 points is a crack, they beat MU in Queens after all, but a 5-1 burst from the Johnnies put them up 18-13. After Jenna Reitsma broke that up, SJU ran off the final seven points of the set to win 25-14.

Keep that “St. John’s with a big run” thing in mind.

The third set was somewhere in the middle of the first two sets with the two teams tied at nine each before Marquette popped off a 7-2 run to go up 16-11. At that point, it was okay for MU to just play them even the rest of the way, and it wasn’t even much of a problem that three straight handling and attacking errors by the Golden Eagles handed them three points to make it 23-19 late. St. John’s returned the favor with a service error to put Marquette up 2-1.

8-3 St. John’s out of the gate in the fourth on a 5-0 run. See also “St. John’s with a big run.” Marquette was able to record four in a row to tie it at 11, and a kill from Reitsma finally pushed MU out in front 19-18.

7-3 run for the Red Storm, including a pair of 3-0 bursts in there, with the second one making it 24-21 and putting SJU at set point.

On to a fifth set after Marquette fumbled around and let St. John’s go on tears to win two different sets.

5-1 Marquette to start the fifth, and Aubrey Hamilton recorded four of the points on either blocks or kills.

11-6 St. John’s. Two service aces by the Red Storm and two attacking errors by the Golden Eagles in that 10-1 run for St. John’s. See also “St. John’s with a big run.” Marquette was able to get it back into a level where we could call it competitive, as a block by Hattie Bray and Yadhira Anchante pulled them within two at 12-10. But no. St. John’s moved it to match point on kills from Magda Stambrowska and Giorgia Walther, Marquette fended off the ending three times as St. John’s got wildly out of pocket and just could not put the last nail in, and then, even after a challenge by MU head coach Ryan Theis, Walther got the final point of the match on a kill.

Up Next: Selection Sunday is this coming Sunday, November 26th, and this will be the most tense that the Golden Eagles have been about getting into the field in some time. The show will be on ESPN at 5pm Central time.