Seniors honored as No. 16 Golden Eagles take down Musketeers for 10th win in a row

Marquette+volleyball+earned+its+25th+win+of+the+season+Nov.+18+with+a+3-1+win+over+Xavier.+

Photo by Katie Craig

Marquette volleyball earned its 25th win of the season Nov. 18 with a 3-1 win over Xavier.

Even though Saturday’s regular season finale is still to happen for No. 16 Marquette volleyball and Carly Skrabak, the senior libero said it was an amazing feeling to walk across the Al McGuire Center court with her parents ahead of the Golden Eagles four-set win (22-25, 25-12, 25-22, 25-20) over the Xavier Musketeers Friday night.

“They’re living in Arizona right now, so it’s hard to make trips (up here), so having them and my brothers here was really cool to see,” Skrabak said.

Skrabak and her 31 digs helped the Golden Eagles win their 10th win in a row and 25th on the season.

“I think we really just picked up our defense and our service pressure and that carried us through, but I was glad that we were able to keep leads through the last three sets,” Skrabak said.

Xavier looked to play spoiler as Marquette started all five seniors to begin the match. The Musketeers got out to a hot start with a 7-1 lead early before the Golden Eagles called timeout.

After bringing the score within four, 11-7, Marquette continued to chip away bringing it as close as 23-22, but a kill from Angel Robinson and an attack error from junior Aubrey Hamilton ended the set with a victory for Xavier, 25-23.

The second set was far from close as Marquette lead from wire-to-wire before taking a 13-point win in the frame, 25-12. The Golden Eagles hit .371% while holding the Musketeers to just six kills and a .030 hitting percentage.

“The offense kept going and we got some stops, I think in the first timeout they had eight kills no errors in the first set and then in the first timeout in the second set they had one kill and four errors and we were holding them to negative (hitting percentage),” head coach Ryan Theis said. “(The) defense picked up a lot.”

The third set was a back and forth battle between Marquette and Xavier, as the two sides were tied nine different times during the frame.

After Xavier had tied set at 18-18, Theis called timeout after which Marquette went on a 6-1 run to put them at set point. The Musketeers scored three straight points late, but a kill from sophomore setter Ella Foti ended the stanza with a 25-22 Golden Eagle win.

Much like the second set, Marquette jumped out to an early lead in the fourth set taking an 11-3 lead forcing Xavier head coach Christy Pfeffenberger  to call a timeout.

Both sides would trade points towards the end of the frame before Marquette went on an extended run to reach match point at 24-20.

For match point, Theis would put seniors Hannah Vanden Berg and Claire Nuessmeier back into the game to help finish it off and with a kill from Nuessmeier, the Golden Eagles would win set four and the match 25-20.

“It probably doesn’t mean as much to them as it does to me, we’ve had one (player) transfer out in five years,” Theis said. “I think we get the right kind of kid who does the right kind of stuff, those are two examples of two wonderful kids who have come through our program who I hope will be proud to be Marquette alumni.”

Hamilton would earn her fifth double-double of the season by racking up 15 kill and 11 digs. She was followed by sophomore Jenna Reitsma and Foti who had 12 and 14 kills respectively.

On the other side of the net, senior outside hitter Brooklyn Cink lead all players with 16 kills, while also contributing nine digs and two blocks on the evening.

As a team, Marquette out hit Xavier .349% to .236% with both sides committing 14 attack errors.

The Golden Eagles (25-2, 16-1 Big East) will be back in action tomorrow night for a chance to finish as Co-Big East Regular Season Champions for the second season in a row, when they take on No. 11 Creighton at 6 p.m. CST inside the Al McGuire Center.

“The biggest thing is going to be our confidence, we play really well toghether when we’re super confident, we kinda have a little bit of an attitude,” Skrabak said. “In terms of volleyball, just playing great defense, we’ve been working on that a lot on that recently in the gym and putting on that service pressure.”

This article was written by Jackson Gross. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacksonGrossMU.