Creighton snaps Marquette’s four-game winning streak

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Photo by Collin Nawrocki

Taylor Wolf (10) sets up a pass in Marquette’s 3-1 loss to No. 24 Creighton Oct. 29.

In a battle of the two best teams in the BIG EAST, Marquette took on Creighton Friday night in the Al McGuire Center and Creighton won three sets to one (25-23, 23-25, 25-12, 25-20) in convincing fashion.

With the loss Marquette is now 0-4 against ranked teams this season including two losses against Creighton. Marquette’s history against Creighton includes four wins and 22 losses and a 1-9 record in the last 10 matchups.

“I thought we didn’t get enough pressure on them to force any kind of errors or force them out of rhythm,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “I thought they were just able to keep the ball in play and we couldn’t convert because they’re pretty good at defense.”

The first set started and remained back and forth with neither team able to gain a substantial lead, outside of one 3-0 run from Creighton. The Bluejays would hold a two point lead late and Marquette couldn’t break into it by more than one point, eventually losing the set 25-23.

Graduate student Savannah Rennie put up a strong showing in the first set with six kills. Marquette would be out hit .173 to .163 on the set.

The second set would start with Marquette up 2-0 including an ace from graduate student Hope Werch. Creighton then responded with a 5-0 run to take a 7-4 lead. Marquette would have two runs, one of which would tie the set at 16 before eventually taking a lead of 21-20.

“We got some momentum going and would’ve liked to carry it into the third, but we seemed to be playing from behind all day today,” Theis said.

Redshirt sophomore Hannah Vanden Berg would end the set with a kill to hand Marquette the set, 25-23. The second set was the only one that Marquette would out hit Creighton, .143 to .111.

Creighton would start out the third set with an early lead, 5-1. Marquette would respond to come within one before Creighton went on a 4-0 run to force Theis to call a timeout.

Out of the timeout Creighton would outscore Marquette 6-3 to bring the score to 15-7 and force Marquette to call their second timeout of the set.

This deficit would prove to be too much for Marquette and Creighton would win the set 25-12. Creighton’s defense held Marquette to seven kills and a hitting percentage of .031.

“Their libero I thought played great, I thought through the first two sets she was the biggest difference in the match,” Theis said. “She had a heck of a game. Their serve-receive played pretty good. We started serving a little bit easier which was a problem.”

The final set began with each team trading blows, which resulted in a 5-5 tied. Then Creighton would go on another run to take a 9-5 lead. The Golden Eagles would come within two points of the Bluejays lead for the rest of the set.

However, Marquette would not give up a fight. At a Creighton matchup, 24-16, Marquette went on a 4-0 run that included two service aces from Werch.

“I loved that Hope went back there and got after it,” Theis said.

Graduate student Taylor Wolf notched her sixth triple double of the season with 13 kills, 19 assists and 19 digs. Rennie added 11 kills on the night herself.

Werch finished with three aces on the night, bringing her within one of the program record.

Next up for Marquette (18-4, 9-2 BIG EAST) will be a Saturday night matchup with Providence at the Al McGuire Center at 6 p.m. CST.

“We gotta stop number 14 (first-year Shaliyah Rhoden) she’s a left side that’s killing a lot, she got a lot of kills against us last time,” Theis said.

This article was written by Ben Schultz. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @benschultz52.