Hard-fought match against St. Louis gives Marquette its fourth consecutive win

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The Golden Eagles fought hard in four sets to win their first match of the weekend (Photo Courtesy of Marquette Athletics).

The No. 24-ranked Marquette volleyball team defeated St. Louis University (27-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-18) at the Al McGuire Center in a late-morning matchup dedicated to senior volleyball player Sarah Rose, who is battling cancer, while recognizing all the seniors on the squad.

After the postponement of last weekend’s two-game series against Creighton, the Golden Eagles had a four-set fight with the Bilikens and are now on a four-game win streak.

This was the Golden Eagles’ second to last nonconference match. The last one will be this weekend before they finish out the last four matches of the season against Butler and Xavier on the road.

Four Marquette players tallied double-digit kills on the day, as senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Lines and sophomore outside hitter Hannah Vanden Berg led with 12 kills each. Following them, sophomore middle blocker Claire Nuessmeier had 11 kills and graduate student middle blocker Savannah Rennie added 11 kills of her own to compliment six blocks, which was the match-high.

Marquette was able to hold on to a hard fought 27-25 first set win, which was its 10th consecutive first-set win. However, St. Louis made them work for it, as they entered the set playing clean and efficient volleyball, courtesy of junior middle blocker Juliana Phillips, who posted six early kills.

The Golden Eagles did not get their first lead until the score was 17-16. After that, SLU fought off two set point threats, but an attack error by SLU first-year outside hitter Emily Henken gave MU the edge.

In the second set, the Billikens corrected their mistakes, jumping out to a six-point lead. The Golden Eagles slowly creeped their way back in and senior outside hitter Hope Werch threw down a kill to tie the set at 20 apiece. But the Billikens senior outside hitter Maya Taylor capitalized on two kills in response to get her squad a 25-22 win to tie the match at 1-1.

MU got out to a hot start in the third set, going on a 9-0 run to secure a 20-10 advantage, as Lines and Rennie posted back-to-back kills. SLU came back with a 6-0 run of their own before an MU timeout. After the timeout, MU shut down the set and went on to win 25-20.

Marquette carried over its momentum from the previous set and took a 12-9 lead to start the fourth. St. Louis was able to close the gap after first-year middle blocker Jillian Mattingly posted a much-needed kill for her team. Marquette went on a 6-1 run after that and ended the set with a 25-18 win, taking down St. Louis three games to one.

The Billikens were led by Taylor who had 18 kills, 17 digs and two assists. Phillips added 14 kills and Henken posted 11.

Marquette will now look to play their last game of the season at home as the team hosts Iowa State University Saturday at 2 p.m. Central Standard Time. The game will be broadcasted on GoMarquettte.com.

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