Marquette volleyball opens season with sweep over Illinois State

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The Marquette volleyball team won their season opener at home againt Illinois State (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics).

The Marquette women’s volleyball team swept Illinois State at home Friday evening. 

After the postponement of fall sports due to COVID-19, the Golden Eagles were finally able to play for the first time since 2019 and took care of business with veteran players taking the reins. 

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay senior transfer Taylor Wolf led the way for the squad with a triple double, making her first match in a Marquette uniform one to remember. She also tallied 10 kills, 16 assists, 11 digs and three blocks.

Senior outside hitter Hope Werch and sophomore outside hitter Hannah Vanden Berg also had notable performances, both totaling nine kills on the night.

In the opening set of the season, Marquette won comfortably by a score of 25-19. They even had a lead of eight points in the first set. Junior outside hitter Breyan Ashley and graduate student middle blocker Savannah Rennie both contributed with kills to help the disperse of points. 

The Redbirds could not hold on to early leads in the second and third games of the night, which the Golden Eagles took advantage of to come from behind and win.

In the second set, Illinois State made adjustments on the court and had a 15-9 lead over the Golden Eagles at one point. However, due to a late eight-point rally, MU was able to come out victorious. 

Sophomore middle blocker Claire Neussmeier had a big block during the set to help Marquette tie the game at 22 and then Wolf had a huge kill to end the game by a final score of 25-23. 

In the final set of the night, ISU sophomore libero Kaity Weimerskirch served a few aces that gave them a 16-11 edge, but the No. 20 ranked Golden Eagles came back to win 25-21.

Illinois State was led by senior outside hitter Kaylee Martin’s 13 kills, senior setter Stef Jankiewicz’s 26 assists and senior libero Kendal Meier’s 16 digs.

The Golden Eagles will play at the Al McGuire Center at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time Saturday for another matchup against Illinois State. The match will be streamed on gomarquette.com/watch. 

This story was written by Molly Gretzlock. She can be reached at Molly.gretzlock@marquette.edu or on Twitter @mollygretzlock.