Volleyball Tops VCU 25-9, 25-21. 25-18

Libero Lauren Houg had a career-best 13 digs.
Aug. 30, 2014

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Marquette University women's volleyball team picked up a pair of sweeps in the first day of action at the Rams Volleyball Classic at Moby Arena on Saturday with wins over UC Santa Barbara and VCU.

"I thought we came out a little edgy and I think Santa Barbara did too and then we started to settle," first-year Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said of his team's effort on Saturday. "The first day is always tricky with scouting, with new lineups with different teams. So it was nice to see us respond well and start to play better in both matches."

In the day's final match, the (RV) Golden Eagles took all three sets from VCU 25-9, 25-21, 25-18.

"The best part about today was our ability in the second match to execute a game plan on the fly," Theis said. "We didn't spend any time practicing a game plan. We just watched VCU for one match earlier and gave our team three or four things we thought would work and they did. It was great to see how engaged they stayed in the volleys and how they executed."

The Golden Eagles (2-0) hit .354 against the Rams and were led by 13 kills from sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey. Bailey also added three service aces, six digs and five blocks on the evening.

MU's block thwarted 12 VCU attacks on Saturday, led by seven from middle hitter Meghan Niemann, while UNI-transfer Courtney Kintzel added four in addition to Bailey's five.

VCU (0-2) hit -.088 for the match with 29 attack errors and just 21 kills on 91 attacks.

Marquette hit .385 in the first set and cruised to a 25-9 victory behind six blocks. Niemann and Bailey each posted four block assists in the frame, while Bailey, Gosh and Kintzel notched three kills apiece.

VCU struggled to a hitting percentage of -.258 in the opening stanza with 11 errors and just three kills.

The lead oscillated for much of the second frame before the Golden Eagles pulled away for a 25-21 win. Marquette led 23-17 before the MU was called for a blocking error when Erin Lehman landed on a VCU player's foot and pulled on the net. The Rams reeled off the next for points before Theis called a timeout to right the ship with a 23-21 lead.

The third set swung back more favorably for the Golden Eagles as MU hit .407 (14-3-27) in the frame and Bailey notched six of her 13 kills.

Marquette sophomore libero Lauren Houg also posted a career-best 13 digs against the Rams.

Marquette resumes action in the Rams Volleyball Classic at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday against No. 18 Colorado State in the tournament finale. CSU swept VCU 25-18, 25-16, 25-12 in Saturday's early session and will face UCSB in the day's final match.




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