Niemann sets block assist record as volleyball splits weekend

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Niemann sets block assist record as volleyball splits weekend

Head coach Ryan Theis stands with Meghan Niemann to honor her new record.

Head coach Ryan Theis stands with Meghan Niemann to honor her new record.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Head coach Ryan Theis stands with Meghan Niemann to honor her new record.

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Head coach Ryan Theis stands with Meghan Niemann to honor her new record.

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After a decisive 3-1 (25-13, 26-24, 25-10, 25-16) victory over Georgetown on Friday, Marquette fell to Villanova 3-1 (25-17, 25-22, 25-21, 27- 25) on Saturday.

Friday was a historic match for redshirt senior Meghan Niemann. After tying the all-time block assist record against Providence last weekend, she broke the record in the first set against Georgetown by recording her 365th career block assist.

“Megan has had a terrific career, certainly not over yet. We hope for bigger things to come as the season progress,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “Wonderful kid. Very happy for her to get the record, but we are a little bit more about the team right now.”

Jenna Rosenthal led the way offensively against Georgetown, hitting .600 while recording 19 kills.

Marquette was dominant in the first set against Georgetown, jumping out to an 11-3 lead. Following a timeout, Marquette continued to apply the pressure and won the set 25-13, while holding the Hoyas to just a .000 hitting percentage.

The momentum didn’t carry over to the second set. Georgetown began to hit shots over the tall Marquette block instead of trying to power through the block, which resulted in a combined 17 kills. The Golden Eagles found themselves down 24-19, but rattled off five unanswered points to tie the score. However, Hoyas finished off the set 26-24.

The third set resembled the first set. Marquette hit a whopping .545, while Georgetown committed 11 errors. The Golden Eagles easily took the set 25-10.

In the fourth set, Marquette didn’t relent as they took a 15-7 lead to start the match and took the set 26-16.

While Rosenthal was dominating offensively versus Villanova, Theis would have liked to see a better all-around offensive effort.

“The biggest issue was we only had Jenna in games one and two. We can’t just have one attacker show up in the first two games, you don’t want to go 0-2 and that is what happened,” Theis said.

Villanova created problems for the Marquette defense with four different players with at least 10 kills.

“I thought (Villanova) played extremely well in virtually all phases of the game. I thought we got outplayed in all of them,” Theis said. “We were trying in the end to do everything we could to get it to five to see if we could create an environment where maybe we could get hot. They wouldn’t break. We tried pushing and they played great.”

The Wildcats opened the first set on a 5-2 run. Down 12-8 with Niemann serving, the Golden Eagles tied the score up at 12-12. Villanova wouldn’t go away and finished the set on a 6-1 run, taking it 25-17.

Marquette and Villanova were much closer in the second set. After exchanging points throughout the frame, Villanova took control after the score was 20-19 by not giving up the lead for the rest of the set, winning 25-22.

After Marquette jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the third set, the Golden Eagles and Wildcats were once again neck-and-neck for the rest of the frame. Marquette ended up taking the set 25-21 after back-to-back errors from Villanova.

With the score tied at 4-4 in the third set, Villanova went on a 4-1 run, forcing Marquette to call timeout. The two teams exchanged points for the rest of the set. Down 24-23, a kill from Taylor Louis, who had 19 kills in the match, tied the score at 24. Marquette was unable to extend the match to five sets, allowing Villanova to win the set 27-25.

Marquette has a quick turnaround with a match against Xavier at noon on Wednesday at the Al McGuire Center.

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