Volleyball locks up second seed with split weekend

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Volleyball locks up second seed with split weekend

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

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In their final weekend of regular season action, Marquette was able to defeat Butler 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-22) on Friday, but fell to Xavier 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 20-25, 19-25) in their final match of the season on Saturday.

Marquette finished tied for second in the BIG EAST with Xavier, but the Golden Eagles will have the No. 2 seed in the tournament due to tiebreaker rules.

The Golden Eagles are slated to take on Xavier again next Friday for their opening match of the BIG EAST tournament.

“Clearly (Xavier’s) speed, tempo and system is a lot to take in, especially for a Saturday opponent. Saturday you just don’t get the prep time when you play someone else Friday night,” head coach Ryan Theis said. “We understood what Xavier wanted to do, but we don’t emulate that extremely well. It is just so different than ours, so to be able to practice against it in a match setting will hopefully help us defend it better next week.”

Taylor Louis led the way for the Golden Eagles throughout the weekend by getting a combined 47 kills.

Senior setter Sara Blaiser was also a difference maker, recording a double-double with 45 assists and 16 digs against Butler and then another 45 assists on Saturday versus Xavier.

Versus Butler on Friday, Marquette lost the first set 25-22, but the Golden Eagles were able to quickly bounce back with a 25-22 in the second set.

Marquette kept the momentum in the third set by jumping out to a 10-4 lead. Following a Butler timeout, Marquette extended their lead to 14-8, but Butler didn’t relent and made the score 20-17 before the Golden Eagles closed out the set with a kill from Louis and a Butler attack error.

Both teams were neck and neck in the fourth set. Down 12-9, Marquette called timeout. After play resumed, Allie Barber hit two kills to make the score 14-13. Then, Marquette was able to tie the score at 19 with a kill from Louis and a service ace from Blasier. Eventually, Marquette was able to pull ahead to get the victory.

“I thought both teams passed extremely well this weekend. I thought against Butler we were able to get them a little more off balance than we were Xavier and I thought that kind of led to a comeback,” Theis said. “I think we were around 20-20 in the fourth. Jenna went back to serve and she bombed an ace, so I think service pressure led to us being able to score some points against Butler.”

Things once again didn’t start well for the Golden Eagles against Xavier, as they dropped the first set 25-23. Xavier jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the second set, but Marquette was able to use a 12-1 run to take a 20-15 lead. The Golden Eagles were able to take the set 25-19 after Xavier committed four errors.

In the third set, Marquette hit just .093 and committed eight errors, which allowed Xavier to take the set 25-20.

Xavier jumped out to a 4-0 start in the fourth set and never turned back, taking the set 25-19.

“We certainly let it slip away, a lot of it was on us, but Xavier started playing really well,” Theis said. “I see them on video a lot that was one of the better matches they have played. They earned the win.”

Marquette will play at either 11:35 a.m. or 2 p.m, against Xavier on Friday at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse.

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