Vanden Berg sets career high in kills as Marquette beats Seton Hall 3-1

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Hannah Vanden Berg attempts to finish a kill a kill in Marquette’s 3-0 win over St. John’s Oct. 15. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Behind redshirt sophomore Hannah Vanden Berg’s career-high 16 kills, Marquette volleyball defeated Seton Hall in four sets (25-21, 22-25, 25-12, 25-19) Saturday evening at the Al McGuire Center.

“Thought Seton Hall came out really low error and efficient, Marquette head coach Ryan Theis told the Marquette Wire’s Ava Mares on the Marquette University Television Broadcast. “Thought their setter put their hitters in really good positions. So it was a bit of an offensive battle in the first two (sets) and then we started defending a little bit better after that.”

The Golden Eagles had a balanced attack on the night, with four players, including Vanden Berg, reaching double figures in kills.  Graduate students Hope Werch and Savannah Rennie both added 13 while graduate student Taylor Wolf contributed 12.

“It was quite balanced,” Theis said. “The balance was good, Hannah played great, she has had some ups and downs so it’s great to see her come out and she got on fire and just kept rolling,”

Set one was tightly contested at the start out. But a 7-0 run down the stretch from Marquette put the set out of reach for Seton Hall. Back-to-back service aces from redshirt junior Katie Schoessow capped off the set and allowed the Golden Eagles to take the set 25-12.

Werch finished with seven kills and three service aces in the first set.

“That was a close set, we needed every one of them, I think we earned 22 points, they (Seton Hall) weren’t giving us any, so it was great she was able to earn them,” Theis said

The Pirates took advantage of the Golden Eagles errors in the second set to take the frame 25-22. In the set itself, Marquette finished with three attack errors, two service aves and hit a match low .333%.

Heading into the third set, Marquette needed some change. Theis said the message was simple.

“We needed to defend better,” Theis told Mares. “We really didn’t to be honest in the second. Thought our service pressure got to them a little bit and they were able to score. Whether they weren’t able to kill the first one and they got into transition. They are a good transition team (so) it’s easiest if you score quickly.”

Marquette did just that in the third set.

After trading points early in the set, Marquette went on a 7-1 run to runaway with the set  grabbing 17 kills and hitting the highest percentage of the match for either team (.421%) to win the frame in double digits, 25-12.

“(It) was really important that we had a big momentum shift and think that shift helped finish the game for us,” Vanden Berg said.

Marquette dominated from start to finish in the fourth set. Seton Hall struggled to generate offense, committing a total of 13 errors in the final set.

The Golden Eagles generated a 6-2 run down the stretch to take the set 25-19 to defeat the Pirates 3-1.

Marquette held Seton Hall  to .162% and .057% in the final two sets.

Meanwhile on the night, the Golden Eagles hit .370 on the night.

“Didn’t think we set great last night,” Theis said. “And so we’ve actually had a little extra setters practice today. I don’t know I can take full credit for it but we did a little bit extra work and pretty good night tonight from both of them.

Even with the career night, Vanden Berg credited her teammates for helping the team secure the win.

“It feels good,” Vanden Berg said. “It feels good to be back on our home court and I think everyone contributed tonight.”

Wolf finished with another triple double on the season with 24 assists, 13 digs and 12 kills.

Rennie finished behind Vanden Berg in hitting percentage (.550%) on 20 attempts while also adding four digs and three blocks.

Marquette (16-3, 7-1 BIG EAST) will have a few days off before their next match. The Golden Eagles will host the DePaul Blue Demons Wednesday at 12 p.m. to finish their three-game home stand.

“DePaul is pretty good, they just swept these guys (Seton Hall) and they’re playing pretty well right now, so we’ll have our hands full for sure, (so) rest, recover and have a good gameplan,” Theis said.

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