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The student news site of Marquette University

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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette’s season ends against Purdue in Round of 32

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Senior outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton led Marquette with 22 kills in its 3-1 loss to Purdue. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — It all ended with the ball rolling past the feet of graduate student libero Sarah Kushner. The point, match and season over in the blink of an eye.

Purdue graduate student defensive specialist Maddie Schermerhorn served the ball in the air and no Golden Eagle kept it from hitting the ground.

“I’d compare it to a little cherry on top,” Schermerhorn said about the ace.

It was the game-deciding play, solidifying No. 6 seed Marquette’s 3-1 loss to No. 3 seed Purdue (21-25, 23-25, 26-24, 24-26) Friday night at Holloway Gymnasium.

“I was proud of where our team fought,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “Losing a really tight second set there at the end, I think on the road in front of a couple thousand people, a lot of teams could have rolled over at that point, and I thought our team came out and fought like hell.

“So I was incredibly proud of the group and encouraged them to hang their heads high after.”

The response falls short

Marquette didn’t go down without a fight.

The Golden Eagles lost the first two sets — the second on back-to-back kills after a close call turned the frame on its head.

But Marquette responded to the ever-loud Purdue fanbase and won the next set on a 3-0 run in extra points. It was a sweep-stopper and momentum-swing.

“We were playing our very very best and they (Marquette) made us look pretty average a lot the night, and they just would not give up points,” Purdue head coach Dave Shondell said. “We knew they were going to be ready. But I didn’t think it wouldn’t be as tough as they were tonight.”

In the fourth, the Golden Eagles were able to get a little separation and pull a 22-19 lead. They were three points from forcing a fifth set, but sophomore outside hitter Eva Hudson went on a personal 3-0 run to erase the advantage.

After Marquette re-took the lead 24-23, Purdue closed the match on another 3-0 run and Schermerhorn finished the game with her ace.

Statistical leaders

Senior outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton finished with a team-high 22 kills, hitting .215. Anchante earned her second double-double in two days with 43 assists and 19 digs. Junior middle blocker Hattie Bray was only other Golden Eagle to finish with double-digit kills, earning 16.

For Purdue, Hudson finished with a career-high 27 kills on a .288 hitting percentage. First-year setter Taylor Anderson earned an NCAA Tournament program record of 60 assists.

The end of the road

Marquette finishes the season with a 21-11 overall record and its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

It was a year of highs, like a record-breaking turnout against Wisconsin in Fiserv Forum, and lows, like its 3-2 loss to St. John’s in the Big East Tournament semifinals.

“We made a whole lot of new volleyball fans over the course of the end of last year and this year out of the Marquette community, the Milwaukee area,” Theis said. “Our goal is to be nationally competitive and known in the country as a really strong volleyball team that people don’t want to play come tournament time. And I think this group is really helping that goal.”

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

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About the Contributor
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.

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