Marquette Wire

Volleyball falls in first round of BIG EAST Tournament

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

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Following a 3-1 (25-16, 25-20, 25-15, 25-19) loss to Xavier in the BIG EAST Tournament, Marquette women’s volleyball now has to wait until Sunday to learn if they will play again this season.

The Golden Eagles finished the year with a 23-8 record. The team will find out if that record is good enough to earn the votes needed to qualify for the NCAA tournament during the selection show. Marquette fell to Xavier 3-1 just one week ago and were unable to find the right strategy in Friday’s go around.

Throughout the match the Golden Eagles were their own worst enemy. They had 25 errors and 18 unforced errors. Furthermore, the offense was stagnant when it mattered most. In the third set Marquette hit only .096, and that percentage rose to just .147 in the fourth set.

“I think each of us needs to subtract one or two errors from that match if we want to beat good teams,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said via text.

Making matters worse for the Golden Eagles was that Xavier had three players with double-digit kills and, as a team, they hit over .300 in each set. In addition, Marquette only mustered up two blocks opposed to Xavier’s seven.

“Their speed is a lot to handle,” Theis said. “I thought we prepared for it all week. I thought we kept their left sides in check but all four of their middles and rights played really well. … I think they had several kids get it going tonight and played with a ton of emotion. They made more big plays than us.”

Down 10-9 in the first set, the Golden Eagles used an 8-1 run to build a 17-11 lead. From there Marquette was in complete control of the set and used back-to-back aces from Taylor Louis to take the set 25-16.

Xavier opened the second set on a 6-2 run. Marquette climbed back to make the score 7-5, but the Musketeers remained in the lead. Marquette made a late push to close the Xavier’s margin, but Xavier ultimately took the set 25-20.

Marquette began the third game much stronger by jumping out to a 5-2 lead. However, Xavier used four unanswered points to an advantage 6-5. The Musketeers wouldn’t give up the lead again and handily took the set 25-15 with the help of eight errors from Marquette.

The fourth set was neck-and-neck until Marquette was able to pull out a 15-11 advantage, but the lead would not last long. Xavier was able to shut down the Marquette offense during a 14-4 run to close out the match.

“I thought we had a few bad passes and bad swings late in the fourth,” Theis said. “When you combine that with them playing well it ultimately cost us game four and the match.”

The NCAA selection show is Sunday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.

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