Allie Barber ties Theresa Coughlin as all-time kills leader with sweep at DePaul


Photo by Claire Gallagher

Allie Barber (10) attempts a kill in Marquette’s sweep over DePaul Nov. 9 at the Al McGuire Center.

Less than 24 hours after No. 10 Marquette swept DePaul at the Al McGuire Center, the Golden Eagles traveled to McGrath-Philips Arena in Chicago and once again swept the Blue Demons (25-21, 25-22, 25-21).

Senior outside hitter Allie Barber led all hitters with 12 kills on an uncharacteristically-low .156 hitting percentage, tying Theresa Coughlin’s record of 1,733 career kills. Barber needs just one more kill to become the program’s all-time kill leader.

“If you ask her, she probably doesn’t think much of it. If you ask her about it, she’d probably say something about other people. That’s just who she is, she’s so humble,” senior setter Lauren Speckman said. “She’s a great player, and with that comes record breaking. I don’t know if she’s striving to break records — I think she’s striving to help her team, and she does that better than anybody else.”

Similar to Friday night’s opening set, DePaul had a productive start and claimed a 9-5 advantage. However, the Golden Eagles tied the score 9-9 and went on an 11-6 run to maintain a 20-12 lead. From then, MU never relinquished the lead, finishing the first set easily 25-21.

Despite the Golden Eagles’ four service errors and the Blue Demons’ four service aces, Marquette hit at a .257 clip and held DePaul to just a .034 hitting percentage.

Much of the second frame was back-and-forth action, including five ties early in the set until the Golden Eagles built a 17-14 advantage. Even though the Blue Demons saved three set points and were hitting the best of the night at a .235 clip, DePaul couldn’t regain enough momentum and fell 25-22 in the second set.

In the final set, the Blue Demons acquired their first significant lead of the match at 12-8. However, following a Marquette timeout, MU attained a 4-0 scoring run to tie at 12-12. DePaul saved four match points, but the Golden Eagles secured the victory with a 25-21 third set win.

Junior Hope Werch added seven kills and five digs on a .417 clip. Sophomore Ellie Koontz totaled six kills on .429 hitting percentage while freshman Hannah Vanden Berg contributed four aces. Speckman dished out a match-high 17 assists, and graduate senior Gwyn Jones added three solo blocks. Junior libero Martha Konovodoff ended with a team-high 13 digs.

Brittany Maxwell, Donna Brown and Emma Price led the Blue Demons with seven kills each. Brown had three blocks, Katie Dolan added a team-high 16 assists and Elena Brueggemann finished with a team-high 11 digs.

Marquette (23-3, 13-1 BIG EAST) will host Georgetown and Villanova next weekend. The first matchup is set for 7 p.m. Friday against the Hoyas.