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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

No. 19 Marquette earns second ranked win of season in front of home crowd over No. 25 Illinois

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Photo by Katie Craig
Carly Skrabak (14) smiles in No. 19 Marquette’s 3-2 win over No. 25 Illinois Sept. 17 at the Al McGuire Center.

Fans waited to get in. There was free pizza for students. And it was a gold out for pediatric cancer.

The ranked matchup between No. 25 Illinois and No. 19 Marquette inside the Al McGuire Center had all the makings for an eventful Saturday night and it didn’t disappoint.

Marquette came from behind to beat Illinois in five sets (23-25, 25-20, 13-25, 25-19, 15-11) in a match that had fans from both sides holding their breath with every serve, dig, set and spike.

“Just gutsy effort. We looked completely discombobulated in the third, like we couldn’t get out of our own way. Then in the fourth, we did,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “Illinois has been a little up and down with the error bug as have we.”

In the first set Marquette trailed by as much as seven, but went on a series of runs where it ultimately took a 19-18 lead late. However it was too little too late for Marquette as Illinois battled back and won the set 25-23.

“We started down 6-2 and then pulled even and I think even up one so it would have been nice to capitalize there,” Theis said.

Sophomore defensive specialist Jadyn Garrison made an impact in the second set. The Minnesota native was able to put pressure on Illinois from the service line, serving during a 6-0 run for the Golden Eagles which gave them a 13-9 lead. Marquette wouldn’t look back from there, ultimately winning the set 25-20.

“I can maybe think in my 20 years of coaching, maybe one other kid that just consistently would come in and serve, sub and just wreak havoc on an opponent and score multiple points,” Theis said. “She is really special at it and I’m very happy that she’s on our side because she does it night in and night out.”

The Golden Eagles led 3-2 in the third set, but that would be as close to winning the set as they’d get with the Fighting Illini who outscored Marquette 23-10 the rest of the way.

Marquette came out with urgency in the fourth set, opening on a 3-0 run. The Golden Eagles would hold a seven-point lead at multiple points throughout the set.

“We don’t really want to give them points off the bat, we need to stay clean because once you build yourself a hole it’s hard to get out of it and you have to work even harder,” sophomore outside hitter Jenna Reitsma said. “I think that just being able to step out, put ourselves out there right off the bat is definitely helpful and gives you momentum to keep going in the set.”

The Golden Eagles kept that momentum going into the fourth with a most of the 1,159 people in the building behind them.

Marquette scored the first point of the set and never trailed. Sophomore setter Yadhira Anchante had two plays in the final set that helped bring her team to victory. The first was a kill that she sneakily dumped over the net and a solo block to bring the Golden Eagles to match point.

“When she gets a big block, it’s not as often that she gets that block and she’s just so sneaky with her dumps,” Reitsma said. “So we just get extra excited, extra riled up.”

Reitsma had a career day for the Golden Eagles as she had 17 kills which are a career high, three aces and seven digs.

“I just thought she had the mentality to score,” Theis said. “She was determined to score and she scored a lot.”

No other Golden Eagle had more than 10 kills, but junior middle blocker Carsen Murray had nine, junior outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton added eight and sophomore’s Ella Foti and Hattie Bray both contributed seven.

Marquette was able to continue their win streak, extending it to six games and beat Illinois for the first time in program history.

The Golden Eagles next match is Sunday when they play Illinois State at 1 p.m. inside the Al McGuire Center.

“Tomorrow’s (Sunday) a whole new day so we have to bring a complete new mindset and just refresh and be ready for that,” Reitsma said. “Big win tonight (Saturday) is definitely exciting, but it’s a whole new world tomorrow.”

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

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About the Contributor
Katie Craig, Staff Photographer
Katie is a Staff Photographer at the Wire. She is a first-year from Lakeville, MN studying digital media and minoring in advertising. In her free time, Katie enjoys photography and hanging out with her friends. This year Katie is looking forward to getting to know more people and improving her photography skills.

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