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Victory against No. 7 USC highlights volleyball weekend

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Volleyball started the season off on the right foot with two straight wins.

Volleyball started the season off on the right foot with two straight wins.

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

Photo by Wire Stock Photo

Volleyball started the season off on the right foot with two straight wins.

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Marquette women’s volleyball started their season with victories over USC and UC-Irvine, but lost to Santa Clara in their final match of the USC Baden Invitational.

“I was hoping for more kills. I thought we could terminate more than we did against an opponent, but overall I was pleased with the effort,” said Marquette head coach Ryan Theis. “The 2-0 start was nice. I would have liked to see us play a little bit better.”

The highlight of the tournament came in the Golden Eagles’ first match, when the squad upset the No. 7 USC Trojans, 3-1.

After dropping the first set 16-25, Marquette went on to win the next three sets 25-20, 25-20 and 25-22.

“We were playing really inefficiently in the first. We had more balls out of bounds in the first than we had been showing. I think we had a little bit of case of the nerves going,” Theis said. “Once we settled in and found our rhythm, offensively, I think our defense got better from there.”

Theis was pleased with the way that his team’s defense handled the speedy offensive attack of USC. In the fourth set, the Golden Eagles held the Trojans to a .175 hitting percentage with seven errors.

“Protecting the seam was kind of our game plan against the speed of their offense,” Theis said. “A couple of times we took that away. We did not have any blocks in the first two games, maybe one. We started getting blocks in the third and fourth and I thought that was pivotal.”

Marquette started Saturday with a 3-2 win over UC-Irvine, but a quick turnaround helped Santa Clara hand the Golden Eagles their first loss of the season by the score of 3-1.

The Golden Eagles dropped their first set 23-25 to UC-Irvine, but were able to win the second and third sets 25-18 and 25-22. After dropping the fourth set 25-17, Marquette won the fifth 15-11 after Jenna Rosenthal and Taylor Louis executed a momentum-changing block. As a team, Marquette combined for 13 blocks in the match.

Against Santa Clara, setter Sara Blasier recorded her second consecutive double-double with 30 assists and 11 digs, but Marquette would once again lose the first set 25-17. The second set featured four different lead changes, but Santa Clara ultimately came out on top 25-22. The Golden Eagles dominated the third set by only trailing once in the beginning of the frame when the score was 2-1. Although Marquette won the set 25-16, the momentum didn’t carry to the fourth set. Santa Clara secured the victory 25-14.

True freshman outside hitter Madeline Mosher was able to contribute meaningful minutes throughout the weekend. Mosher also sealed the victory against USC with a match-winning kill.

“I thought she played some big points,” Theis said, “She stepped in and took some big swings over the course of the weekend. … She’s got a lot of big game experience: her club team and back-to-back state championships in high school. I think she had 99 kills, or something like that, in two nights to win a state championship. She’s got some big game experience. I would expect and hope her to continue that.”

The Golden Eagles continue their non-conference schedule with a tournament at Wichita State, where they will face the hosts, IUPUI and Cincinnati.

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