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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette wins one set in its loss to No. 1 Wisconsin in Fiserv Forum

Photo by Keifer Russell
Marquette celebrating a point in its 3-1 loss to No. 1 Wisconsin at Fiserv Forum.

It may have taken place inside Fiserv Forum — less than a mile from the Al McGuire Center, the home of Marquette volleyball — but with the majority of the 17,037 fans rooting for Wisconsin, one might think tonight’s matchup between the Golden Eagles and No. 1 Badgers was in Madison.

And with most people rooting against it, Marquette (2-6) lost the annual in-state battle 3-1 (26-28, 25-20, 24-26, 18-25) Wednesday night. 

“What we can take away is that we’re right there,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “Today was a step in us believing that a little bit too.”

The Golden Eagles are now 0-6 against ranked teams this season.

Like an away game

At the end of the third set, Wisconsin tied the frame 24-24 and had the serve.

As its server stepped up and set her feet, “Let’s go Badgers” chants filled Fiserv Forum.

The Badgers went on to win the set 26-24, scoring two straight points to close it out. After that, the game might as well have been in Madison.

The entire fourth and final frame, after every Marquette point, it was as if you could hear a pin drop. After every Wisconsin point, the exact opposite.

“It felt like the fans were into the match and really getting into it, which is what you hope,” Wisconsin head coach Kelly Sheffield said.

The Badgers led the fourth set 23-16 and needed two points to win the match, and the chants started again.

When it was game point, the arena was drowned by the sound of away fans clapping. Once Wisconsin won, it was pandemonium.

Historic turnout

The game had a lot of hype from the day it was announced in December 2022. But it broke records.

The 17,037 fans made it the most-attended NCAA women’s volleyball regular season indoor match. It sits No. 12 on the overall all-time list, which includes postseason and outdoor matches.

“I had just about 20 3-year-olds waiting for me upstairs from my home team in Wautoma, and they all have these cute little shirts made with Hattie Bray on the back,” junior middle blocker Hattie Bray said. “It was so awesome to see them all.”

Stopping the sweep

Before tonight, the last set Marquette won was the opening frame against Kansas Sept. 2, which it won 25-21.

After dropping the first set 28-26, the Golden Eagles got an early lead and didn’t look back, winning the second frame 25-20.

Marquette led by nine points on multiple occasions and after Theis won a challenge, the Golden Eagles closed the frame out with a block from junior setter Yadhira Anchante.

In the set, Marquette hit .029 with 11 kills on 10 attacks.

Statistical leaders

Senior outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton led everyone with 16 kills. She also earned her 1,000th career kill.

Wisconsin junior middle blocker Anna Smrek took advantage of her 6-foot-9 frame and ended with 15 kills, hitting .357.

“Came up with some big time blocks in big moments and some big time kills down the stretch,” Sheffield said.

As a team, the Badgers finished with more kills, assists and blocks than the Golden Eagles, but also committed 18 service errors compared to Marquette’s two.

Up next

Marquette will play at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (6-5) Thursday night. The game starts at 6 p.m. CST.

This story was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributors
Jack Albright
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.
Keifer Russell
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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