Marquette Wire

Volleyball eliminated from NCAA Tournament

Taylor+Louis+had+18+kills+in+the+Golden+Eagles%27+final+match+of+the+season.
Taylor Louis had 18 kills in the Golden Eagles' final match of the season.

Taylor Louis had 18 kills in the Golden Eagles' final match of the season.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

Taylor Louis had 18 kills in the Golden Eagles' final match of the season.

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Marquette women’s volleyball was eliminated from the NCAA tournament at the hands of Washington State 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20) in Madison on Thursday night.

“’Our good is awfully good’ is what I will takeaway,” said Marquette head coach Ryan Theis. “’How good is your good, how bad is your bad’ is what determines matches when you are playing best of five for two hours. Our good is awfully good, we just kind of did the bad a little bit better. Washington State played really well.”

“I think we were trying to emphasize how good Marquette was,” Washington State head coach Jen Greeny said about preparing for the Golden Eagles. “It is hard when you are going to play someone you don’t know very well, (that) maybe you don’t hear of because we are on the west coast. We were just talking about how good Marquette was. They I thought showed that tonight as well.”

The Golden Eagles hit a respectable .241, but the height of Washington State allowed the Cougars to have a strong block, which prevented Marquette from having consistent offensive success.

“I think our defense works a lot around how our block is formed. While we still will need to tighten that up a bit, we did a decent job of funneling it to our best defenders, and everybody did their job by hitting the balls they were supposed to,” Washington State right side hitter Hailey Bethune said.

Kyra Holt led Washington State offensively with 22 kills, while Bethune finished with a career-high 15 kills.

After tying the match up 1-1, the Golden Eagles struggled in the second half of the match. Marquette only recorded one block in the second half after recording three in the first two sets. Additionally, the lead only changed once in sets three and four after changing eight times in the first half.

“I thought we had some self-inflicting wounds in the beginning of the third, which probably gave them a little momentum,” Theis said. “It might have helped their servers. I thought they served really well in three and four. It was just a couple of miscues by us. I think we missed on one or two sets early. I think we had a miscommunication at the net early. I thought that slow start probably helped them with some confidence that we had stolen at the end of the second.”

Marquette and Washington State were neck and neck for the majority of the first set. Meghan Niemann hit an astonishing .714 in the set and led the Golden Eagles with five kills, but Niemann’s efforts wouldn’t be enough. With the score tied 20-20, the Cougars used a Holt kill and pair of Marquette attack errors to create a 23-20 lead. They were able to use that lead to eventually take the set 25-21.

The second set was similar to the first, with both teams exchanging points until the end of the set. Unlike the first set, Marquette was able to use three Washington State attack errors to create a 24-21 advantage and they eventually won the set on a Taylor Louis kill. Louis was a difference-maker in the second frame with six kills.

“I thought in the second (Louis) hit a couple of real nice shots,” Theis said. “It was pretty clear after the first she had got block on a couple of back row attacks. Her front row game was fine. She got snubbed twice and they were helping the right side help, so we talked to her about off speed too.”

Washington State came out of halftime on a mission. The Cougars were able to jump out to an 8-3 lead in the third set. Marquette never recovered from that deficit and Washington State took the set rather easily 25-19.

The Cougars seemed to be in control of the fourth set, but with the score 21-15 the Golden Eagles used a 5-2 run to make it 23-20. Those would be the last points that Marquette would score, as kills by Bethune and Holt would finish off the match and end the season for the Golden Eagles.

“You can’t do something like a Division I volleyball season without becoming incredibly close with the people that are there with you on that ride,” middle Jenna Rosenthal said. “These are friendships that we will have forever, and some of them may be going, but some of them are staying closer, and we are all a part of something bigger than us. I am very happy to call these people my friends forever.”

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