No. 19 Marquette sweeps UConn to stay undefeated in Big East play

No.+19+Marquette+earned+its+12th+win+of+the+season+in+a+3-0+win+over+UConn+Sept.+30+at+the+Al+McGuire+Center.+

Photo by Keifer Russell

No. 19 Marquette earned its 12th win of the season in a 3-0 win over UConn Sept. 30 at the Al McGuire Center.

No. 19 Marquette continued its hot start to the season defeating the UConn Huskies in straight sets (25-18, 25-21, 25-18) Friday night inside the Al McGuire Center.

“I thought there was some really fun stuff (homecoming) going on and the team was having a good time,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “We just need to be a little bit cleaner. But we still got a ways to go. We’re not quite in our mid-season form yet.”

With the win, the Golden Eagles continued their undefeated streak at home and in Big East play at 9-0 and 3-0 respectively.

After falling in an early 3-1 deficit in the first set, Marquette went on a 5-1 run to take the lead and did not look back. The Golden Eagles took the frame 25-18 behind five kills from junior outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton and 10 assists from sophomore setter Yadhira Anchante.

Marquette hit .433 compared to UConn’s .259 in the set.

The second set being bit more contested compared to the first, with the Golden Eagles holding a narrow 20-17 lead at the midway point which forced the Huskies to call a timeout. UConn responded with three unanswered points out of the time forcing Theis to burn a timeout of his own.

Marquette went on a 5-1 run out of the timeout to take the set 25-21.

“A little bit of reviewing the game plan was what we needed to make sure we were doing, what we thought UConn was trying to exploit offensively,” Theis said. “We made a couple of stops again, got some service pressure on them (UConn) and we were able to score in the center of the court.”

UConn took advantage of Marquette’s slow start in the third set, as the Huskies held a 5-2 lead. The Golden Eagles eventually tied the game at 9-9 after Theis successfully won a challenge.

What ultimately gave Marquette the necessary boost take a commanding lead and win was sophomore outside hitter Jenna Reitsma’s service ace streak, who was able to net four aces in the final set give the Golden Eagles the clean set sweep.

“I’ve been working on my serve a lot lately, just taking a deep breath,” Reitsma said. “It was just clicking for me in that moment. It was fun to get those (aces) in a row.”

Reitsma stacked the stat sheet for the Golden Eagles with seven kills, six service aces and 10 digs.

“She got hot at the end,” Theis said. “She can do that from time to time. She can get dialed in and put a whole lot of pressure on people, so we could use six more (aces) tomorrow.

Marquette (12-1, 3-0 Big East) will host Providence (8-6, 0-3 Big East) tomorrow in the Al McGuire at 6 p.m. CST in its 10-game home stand finale.

“It’s a new day, a new game tomorrow,” Reitsma said. “Just (got) be refreshed, be ready for tomorrow and put up a new game plan.”

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JackAlbrightSJ.