Marquette Bounces Back Against Xavier, 3-1


Junior libero Lauren Houg will look to hold down the back line for the new-look Golden Eagles in 2015. (Photo: Valeria Cardenas)

The Marquette women’s volleyball team, coming off a tough home loss to Creighton, beat conference foe Xavier in four sets 22-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-19 Wednesday at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati. The Golden Eagles are now 13-4 overall and 4-1 in the Big East, still sitting in third place in the conference.

The Golden Eagles hit at their third-highest percentage of the season (.358) and were led by sophomore Autumn Bailey with 20 kills and 12 digs, increasing her double-double streak to 11. However, Bailey was not alone in her efforts, as she was just one of four Marquette players in double figures. Sophomore Nele Barber also had a double-double with 13 kills and 15 digs. Redshirt sophomore Meghan Niemann posted 11 kills with no errors. Niemann and senior Lindsay Gosh racked up hitting percentages of over .500, Gosh adding 14 kills to the team’s total of 61.

Marquette came out slowly in the first set, but was able to climb back from a four-point deficit before ultimately losing 22-25. The Golden Eagles hit just .171 with 12 kills and six errors on 35 attempts. After Marquette jumped out to a 4-3 advantage, Xavier scored five straight points, taking an 8-4 lead. Marquette would regain a 19-18 lead before dropping seven of the next 10 points. Bailey led all players with five kills in the set and the Golden Eagles would improve as the match went on.

In the second set, Marquette fought back well. The team never trailed and led by as much as many as 10 points. Despite having seven total service and hitting errors, Marquette won the game 25-18. Marquette’s 10 point lead was cut in half by a 7-2 Xavier run, but the Golden Eagles settled down and cruised to a seven point victory.  Bailey had seven kills and an ace and freshman setter Gabby Benda contributed 12 assists.

The third set was Marquette’s best as the team recorded a .571 hitting percentage in a 25-14 victory. The Golden Eagles scored eight of the game’s first 11 points and jumped out to a 5-0 lead before a Xavier timeout. The Musketeers would get as close as three, but could not overcome the Golden Eagles strong offense. Marquette was assisted by 11 total service and hitting errors by Xavier in the set and went on a 10-5 run to close the game. Gosh led the team in kills with six and Bailey was close behind with five.

Marquette would go on to win the match in the fourth set, 25-19, thanks to a 6-0 run to finish the game. Xavier kept it close until the end, never trailing by more than four until a 19-19 tie gave way to a burst of Golden Eagle scoring. Barber led the team in scoring with six kills and Gosh, Niemann and Bailey all contributed three. Barber and Bailey put up four of the last six points, including an ace from Bailey.

Marquette’s next game will be against DePaul at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct.11 at the McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago.