Marquette starts BIG EAST strong with sweep of Providence

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

After going 9-3 in their nonconference slate, the Golden Eagles opened BIG EAST play with a straight-set sweep of the Providence Friars (25-21, 25-14, 25-21) Friday evening.

The first set was back-and-forth for the majority of the frame. With the score tied at 15-15, head coach Ryan Theis took a timeout to allow his team to regroup. Four kills by outside hitters junior Allie Barber and senior Anna Haak then helped Golden Eagles go on a tear to take the set 25-21.

In the second set, Providence hopped to an early lead, but Marquette stormed back, scoring eight straight points to take a 15-8 lead. The Golden Eagles eventually won the set 25-14. Barber led the way for the Golden Eagles in the second with six kills, and Haak put up four kills in the set.

The third frame was also a back-and-forth affair, with the score being tied at 7-7, 8-8, 9-9 and 15-15.

Just as he did earlier, Theis took a timeout, and the Golden Eagles took the lead out of the break and never relinquished it, taking the set and match by a score of 25-21.

On the day, Marquette hit a combined 0.344 with a clip of 0.517 in the second frame alone. Barber led the way with 16 kills, hitting at a clip of 0.393 on the match. Haak had a phenomenal all-around day with 12 kills, a hitting percentage of 0.409, two service aces, four digs and four blocks.

Junior setter Lauren Speckman had a team-high 22 assists. Sophomore libero Martha Konovodoff led the team with nine digs in the game, putting up 10 assists as well. Redshirt senior Jenna Rosenthal had a strong day as well, putting up six kills, two blocks and a 0.455 hitting percentage.

Meanwhile, the Friars were led by setter Allison Barber’s game-high 30 assists, the only statistical category Providence led in. Middle blocker Allison Impellizeri put up a team-high 10 kills. Outside hitter Jenae Alderson added nine kills.  

The Golden Eagles (10-3) will take on the No. 10 Creighton Bluejays, the victors of the last four BIG EAST championships Sunday at 1 p.m. CST. BIG EAST Digital Network will stream the game.