Marquette picks up win in conference opener against Villanova

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Photo by Collin Nawrocki

Marquette volleyball celebrates during its 0-3 loss to No. 8 Kentucky Sept. 11.

Marquette volleyball earned its first BIG EAST win of the season Friday night at Jake Nevin Field House, defeating the Villanova Wildcats in four sets (20-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-14) in its conference opener.

The Golden Eagles would build an early 7-3 lead in the first set, before the Wildcats went on a 11-3 run to flip the set and take a 14-10 lead forcing Marquette to call a timeout. Marquette was unable to regain the lead, bringing the deficit as low as three in five separate occasions, as sophomore Riley Homer finished the set with a kill to hand the Wildcats the 25-20 set win.

Similar to the previous set, Marquette jumped out to a four point lead. Then the Golden Eagles rattled together a 9-1 run to build their lead up to ten and did not look back as first-year outside hitter Jenna Reitsma ended the set with a kill.

Set three was a highly competitive set, with eight ties and three lead changes throughout. After Marquette took a 22-20 lead off a kill from graduate student Taylor Wolf, the Wildcats would grab two quick points to tie the set at 22. The Golden Eagles would end the set with a 3-1 run to win it off of the only kill of the match for redshirt junior Claire Mosher.

In the closing set, Marquette took advantage of Villanova’s struggles. The Golden Eagles led as large as 12 points towards the end, and completed the four set victory off of a service error from Wildcats first-year setter Dani Ortiz. As a team, Villanova committed seven attack errors and three service errors in the frame.

Graduate student Hope Werch led the Golden Eagles offense with 13 kills, three assists, four service aces and one block. Werch is now at 159 service aces for her career, placing her second all time, jumping ahead of Jennifer Martin. Werch needs 19 service aces to claim the number one spot in Marquette program history.

Wolf lead the team in assists with 22, while also contributing eight kills, two blocks, five digs and two service aces on the night.

The Golden Eagles now lead the all-time series against the Wildcats 15-4.

Marquette (11-2) will head down I-95 to the nation’s capital to take on the Georgetown Hoyas Saturday at 3 p.m. CST to round out their two-game road trip.

This article was written by Jackson Gross. He can be reached at jackson.gross@marquette.edu or on Twitter @JacksonGrossMU.