Volleyball splits opening BIG EAST weekend


Photo by Brian Georgeson

Meghan Niemann tied Marquette's all-time block assist record with her 364th Sunday.

Marquette women’s volleyball hit the road to start BIG EAST play this weekend. Their first stop was Omaha, Nebraska, where they fell 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-18) to Creighton on Friday, but the Golden Eagles would redeem themselves with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-18) win against Providence on Sunday.

On Sunday, redshirt senior Meghan Niemann recorded her 364th block assist, which tied Marquette’s all-time record.

“She is just so quick laterally and works so hard,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “It is great to see someone who works that hard and has always worked that hard tie a school record. It will be exciting to see her break it and celebrate it.”

Senior Sara Blasier had a solid all around weekend, recording a total of 60 assists and her sixth double-double of the season with 32 assists and 17 digs on Sunday. Against Providence, she had five kills to go along with a .571 hitting percentage.

Against Creighton, Taylor Louis and Allie Barber both turned in double-double performances, but their effort wasn’t enough to take down the Bluejays.

Creighton opened the first set by going on a 6-1 run. Six kills from Louis would help Marquette crawl back into contention. The Bluejays had match point at 24-19, but the Golden Eagles would rattle off four unanswered points to make the score 24-22. It wouldn’t be enough, as Creighton ultimately took the set 25-22.

Similar to the first set, Creighton seemed to have Marquette pinned with the score 24-20, but the Golden Eagles scored two unanswered points to come within two points of tying the score, but the Bluejays would take the second set as well 25-22.

Marquette hit just .161 in the third set, as Creighton jumped out to an early lead and took the frame 25-18.

“They were a very good team,” Theis said. “They are a team that you shouldn’t start off three games in a row down by five points. I think in all of them we pulled within two, but couldn’t win. I think it is possible to beat those guys if you start well, but I don’t think you can start in a five point hole and expect to win those games.”

Providence jumped out to a 16-12 lead in the first set on Sunday, forcing Theis to call a timeout. Following the timeout, the Golden Eagles went on a 5-1 run, tying the score at 17. Niemann gave Marquette a 19-18 lead with a kill and Jenna Rosenthal and Louis secured the 25-21 win with a block.

The Golden Eagles were on a mission in the second set. As a team, they hit .519, while limiting Providence to just .189. They jumped out to an 11-5 lead and extended that lead to 20-11 before winning the set 25-14.

The third set started much like the second set with the Golden Eagles jumping out to a 15-11 lead with back-to-back kills from Louis. They would go on to take the set 25-18.

“We were just much more efficient, that would probably be the word,” Theis said. “We played low error. We controlled the first touch as well. I thought our serving did quite well. At times we passed well. Our middles were rolling, they were using their physicality, which is when they are at their best. Most things were able to work because of our first touches.”

On Friday, Marquette will welcome Georgetown to the Al McGuire Center at 7:00 p.m.