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Marquette looks to extend winning streak this weekend

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Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.

The Marquette women’s volleyball team is on a four-game winning streak coming off a dismantling of cross-town rival Wisconsin-Milwaukee in three sets, 25-20, 25-12, 25-16, Tuesday night.

The Golden Eagles (20-6, 10-3) have now won 20 regular season games in each of the last five seasons and are currently tied for second in the Big East with Seton Hall, and Creighton is sitting just 1.5 games ahead of both teams. Despite this, the Golden Eagles have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth this weekend with two victories and a Xavier loss.

In the match against UWM, Marquette hit .353 as a team and committed just four hitting errors. Sophomore Autumn Bailey led the team offensively with 12 kills, hit .426 for the match and added 12 digs. But the story of the night was sophomore Teal Schnurr.

Schnurr had a career-high 10 blocks against UWM, including six in the first set. Schnurr’s night resulted in the most blocks any Golden Eagle has had since All-American Rabbecka Gonyo put up 11 blocks against UWM in 2009. Marquette held the Panthers to .155 hitting percentage for the match, including -.037 in the second set. The Golden Eagles out-blocked their opponent 16-1 and forced 23 hitting errors.

As the Big East tournament approaches, Marquette will head into its easiest stretch of the year. The Golden Eagles will face two teams outside the top five in the conference in Providence (4-22, 0-12) and St. John’s (17-10, 6-6), both at home. Marquette swept both teams in the opening weekend of Big East play. Bailey led the Golden Eagles to victory in both matches, averaging 5.67 kills and 4.5 digs per set. Marquette hit .381 at Providence and .347 at St. John’s. The Golden Eagles were stifling on defense, allowing neither team to have a player in double figures for kills nor did they allow a hitting percentage above .120.

Marquette is in the top three of every major offensive category in the conference, but cannot take St. John’s lightly. The Red Storm are best in the conference when it comes to service aces and are led by juniors Deniz Mutlugil (10.86 per set), the conference leader in assists, and Karin Palgutova, the only player in the Big East other than Autumn Bailey with more than four kills per set. Providence, however, is in the bottom three of every major statistical category in the conference, despite having the league’s second-best dig player in sophomore Michelle Cruz (5.02 per set).

The Golden Eagles will take on St. John’s Friday at 7 p.m. at the Al McGuire Center, followed up by a Saturday match against Providence at 5 p.m. Anyone who presents a used ticket stub from Saturday’s men’s basketball exhibition opener against Wisconsin Lutheran will receive free admission to the match against Providence. Between the second and third set of Friday’s match, there will be a burrito eating contest between all of Marquette’s fraternities.

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