Volleyball drops first set since Sept. 23, defeats Northern Iowa in four sets

Photo by Jordan Johnson

For the first time since Sept. 23 against Creighton, Marquette volleyball lost a set, but the Golden Eagles still triumphed over the University of Northern Iowa Panthers in four sets (20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 26-24).

Marquette struggled in the first set despite an early 4-0 lead. The rest of the set was tightly contested until Northern Iowa went up 21-17. The Panthers eventually won the set 25-20.

The Golden Eagles combined for a 0.089 hitting percentage in the first set although junior Allie Barber hit 0.556. Meanwhile, the Panthers hit 0.220 with a total of 15 kills.

Northern Iowa got out to a quick 7-1 lead in the second set, but Marquette battled back to tie the set at 13-13. The Golden Eagles then went on a 7-3 run for a 20-16 advantage and won the set 25-20.

The Golden Eagles’ offense was more effective in the second, increasing their hitting percentage to 0.219. The Panthers had a -0.029 hitting percentage in the set.

Marquette took advantage of its momentum, jumping to a 13-8 lead in the third set. The Golden Eagles had a 20-12 lead at one point and finished the set with a 25-16 win. Marquette had their highest offensive production during the third set, posting a 0.333 hitting percentage. Northern Iowa improved in the third to a 0.089 clip.

The Golden Eagles remained strong in the final set taking a 26-24 fourth-set victory. Neither team led by more than three points in the set. The Panthers had the largest lead at 10-7. In the last set, Marquette hit 0.176 and Northern Iowa hit 0.200. The Golden Eagles had four service aces in the last set alone.

Barber led Marquette with 19 kills. Senior Anna Haak posted a double-double with 10 kills, 14 digs and three aces, and redshirt senior Jenna Rosenthal added nine kills and six total blocks. Sophomores Hope Werch and Martha Konovodoff tied for a match-high 21 digs. Junior Lauren Speckman had a team-high 29 assists.

Junior outside hitter Karlie Taylor led Northern Iowa with a double-double of 20 kills and 17 digs. Senior middle hitter Piper Thomas added 13 kills. Redshirt junior Rachel Koop had a match-high 44 assists.

The Golden Eagles (19-4, 9-1 BIG EAST) look to avenge their 3-0 loss to No. 10 Creighton Bluejays Friday night for the rematch at the Al McGuire Center. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. Central time.