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Three takeaways: Volleyball season ends at Illinois

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Three takeaways: Volleyball season ends at Illinois

Photo by John Steppe

Photo by John Steppe

Photo by John Steppe

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The Marquette women’s volleyball team ended its historic season Friday against No. 3 Illinois in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16. Here are three takeaways from the Golden Eagles’ final matchup of the year:

 

Marquette’s offense proves why it’s among best in the nation

Marquette’s offense is ranked as one of the top in the country, and that was on display against the Illini.

Even though they were going up against an elite blocking squad and solid back line, the Golden Eagles’ offense still looked dominant at points of the game.

Allie Barber was her usual attacking self, contributing 14 kills and a clip of 0.379. Jenna Rosenthal and Hope Werch added seven kills, and Anna Haak put up five of her own.

Lauren Speckman’s ability to vary her sets was on full display in Champaign, tossing up 19 assists on a completion rate of 0.432.

“I was pleased with our offense’s ability to score points,” head coach Ryan Theis said. “We thought that would be a challenge because teams were hitting 0.160 on them on the year, and we were well above that for a lot of the match.”

 

Unforced errors down the Golden Eagles

All season long, Marquette has been plagued by its own errors.

Against a high level team like the Illini, errors at the net and from the service line haunted the Golden Eagles again.

“I didn’t think we had it from the service line,” Theis said. “We left a few too many opportunities out there to beat (the) No. 3 (team).”

In all, Marquette had 24 errors. Ten came from the service line, and 14 were attack errors. The Golden Eagles, who are typically a very strong serving team, greatly struggled from the line in the matchup.

“We’re a good serving team. … We have six good servers on our team, and if four or five of them are having a good day, we’re a handful,” Theis said. “I think today we only had one or two.”

 

Marquette could be just as good next year

There is plenty of reason to believe that Marquette will be in the conversation for a Sweet 16 appearance next year.

Even though Marquette will lose bench leader Abby Julian, six-rotation star Anna Haak and the team’s emotional rock Jenna Rosenthal, the experience that this roster garnered throughout this season has been invaluable.

“We’ve worked so hard, so long, every single one of us, to do what we’re doing right now,” Rosenthal said. “That attitude and that fire is only going to carry us farther in the future, even if I have to go my separate way.”

Five of the seven starters in this season’s Golden Eagle lineup will be returning, including Allie Barber, statistically one of the best hitters in the country.

Other returning starters include sophomore libero Martha Konovodoff, sophomore middle blocker Elizabeth Orf, junior setter Lauren Speckman and sophomore outside hitter Hope Werch.

In addition to those five, the Golden Eagles also return Ellie Koontz and Madeline Mosher, both powerful opposite hitters, Sarah Rose, the second setter in this 6-2 offense, and Katie Schoessow, an up-and-coming back line player.

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About the Photographer
John Steppe, Executive Sports Editor

John Steppe is the executive sports editor for the Marquette Wire. He is a junior majoring in journalism and double-minoring in digital media and Spanish....

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