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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Volleyball sweeps Bluegrass Battle tournament

Photo by Maggie Bean
Taylor Louis recorded a career-high 16 digs against Kentucky.

Marquette’s women’s volleyball put together one of their most dominant performances this season over the weekend, winning the Bluegrass Battle tournament at the University of Kentucky. Throughout the three matches against Saint Louis (3-0), Kentucky (3-1) and Virginia (3-0), the Golden Eagles lost just one set.

“At the beginning of the year how long do you play good?” said Marquette head coach Ryan Theis. “If you have a two-hour match were you good for an hour of it? Were you good for 45 minutes of it? So this was the longest stretch of good play that we have had.”

Redshirt sophomore Taylor Louis, who was named tournament MVP, led the Golden Eagles. Louis finished the tournament with a total of 51 kills, while hitting .361. She recorded her third double-double of the season against Kentucky, recording a season-high 20 kills and a career-high 16 digs.

“(Louis) was really good,” said Theis. “I thought our setters did a good job getting the ball to her. I thought first touches were just good enough to put her in situations throughout the weekend. She was playing physical volleyball and that is when she is at her best. … It’s the level of efficiency. She has always accumulated the kill numbers, but over the course of this weekend she hit over .300.”

Meghan Niemann, Sara Blasier and Lauren Houg were also given all-tournament honors for their play.

Louis set the tone for the weekend on Friday, opening the match against Saint Louis with three straight kills. She would finish the match with a total of 17 kills. As a team, Marquette held Saint Louis to just .153 hitting percentage, while Marquette hit .350 with just nine errors.

Marquette closed out the first set 25-17. The Bilikens started the second set on a 6-0 spree, but after several scoring runs the Golden Eagles tied the match at 19. From there they scored five unanswered points to take a 24-19 lead and eventually closed out the set 25-23. Finally in the third frame, Marquette used an 8-3 run to give themselves a 21-14 lead before finishing the match with a 25-16 victory.

Louis was once again dominant with a double-double in Marquette’s second match on Friday against host Kentucky. Niemann also recorded 11 kills and four blocks to go along with a .391 hitting percentage. Senior setter Sara Blaiser added 40 assists and nine digs, while Houg contributed 21 digs of her own.

Marquette lost their lone set of the tournament in the second frame 25-19, but in the third set the Golden Eagles jumped out to a 12-2 lead and went on to win the frame 25-18. In the fourth and final set Marquette used a 7-3 run to build a 13-9 lead and eventually take the frame 25-17.

The Golden Eagles completed the weekend sweep on Saturday against Virginia. They took the first set 25-19 behind six kills and a spectacular .857 hitting percentage from Jenna Rosenthal. In the second set, Marquette seemed to be slipping when two errors led to a 16-10 Virgina lead. With the score standing at 17-13, Nikki Barnes entered the match to serve for Marquette and she delivered three consecutive aces to help propel Marquette to a 25-22 win. The Golden Eagles got back on track in the third set by jumping out to a 21-10 lead and ultimately won the frame 25-12.

Marquette will play their home opener on Friday night against Iowa State at 7 p.m. at the Al McGuire Center in the Marquette Invitational.

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