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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette sweeps Villanova to start conference play

Photo by Katie Craig
Marquette is now 8-1 at home in conference opening games.

Marquette volleyball started Big East play with a bang.

The Golden Eagles (5-7, 1-0 Big East) used its best offensive and defensive performances of the season to sweep the Villanova Wildcats (9-4, 0-1 Big East) 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-11) Friday night at the Al McGuire Center.

“It was really exciting,” junior middle blocker Hattie Bray said. “The Big East home opener is definitely a fun game to play and it’s great that we’re here.”

The Golden Eagles are now 8-1 at home all-time in conference opening matches.

The wall stands tall

The tallest Wildcats that started were both 6-foot-2 middle blockers. The tallest Golden Eagles that started were 6-foot-2 Bray and 6-foot-4 senior middle blocker Carsen Murray.

“It definitely helped a lot with all of our blocks and we’re not used to being the taller team,” senior outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton said.

Marquette was able to use its height to its advantage the entire game, holding Villanova to a .116 hitting percentage with 16 attack errors in the match.

The Golden Eagles racked up five blocks in the first frame, three in the second and three in the third, finishing with 20 total blocks.

Bray finished with a match-high 11 blocks, the most she has earned in one game this season, and she was the only Marquette player to earn a solo block.

“At one point, I looked down and she was hitting a .380 and I was surprised it wasn’t a .600,” Theis said. “When she was swinging, it was terminal.”

Statistical leaders

Hamilton led Marquette with 13 kills, hitting .600. Junior outside hitter Jenna Reitsma finished with six kills and 11 digs.

For Villanova, first-year outside hitter Abby Harrell finished with a team-high nine kills on 30 attacks. She also had the most service aces in the match with three.

Starting hot

Every set looked the same.

The Golden Eagles would get an early lead, Wildcat head coach Josh Steinbach would call a timeout and Marquette would go on to win the frame.

In the opening frame, it was 7-2. In the second and third, it was 7-1.

“That’s a key thing we’re working on right now, just being confident ourselves,” Bray said. “It was amazing to start out strong, and this is a great first game to play.”

Up next

Marquette ends its four-game homestand against Georgetown (10-3, 1-0 Big East) Saturday night at the Al McGuire Center. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. CST.

“We had another good serving night,” Theis said. “Serve like that, tomorrow, we’re gonna put some pressure on Georgetown.”

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.
Katie Craig
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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