Marquette Falls to No. 25 UNI in Five-Set Heartbreaker
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team dropped a five-set heartbreaker to No. 25 Northern Iowa Sunday afternoon in the final match of the Ambassador Hotel Golden Eagle Classic at the Al McGuire Center.
“I am disappointed in today’s loss and you can’t help but be with the moment (in the fifth set),” Marquette head coach Bond Shymansky said. “Game fives are what they are, crazy things always happen in the fifth set and when it goes to 15 points that only gets magnified.
The Golden Eagles, who fall to 7-2 with the loss, finished the weekend with a 3-1 record and the tournament crown. Marquette senior middle hitter Danielle Carlson claimed tournament most valuable player honors, while libero Julie Jeziorowski and setter Elizabeth Koberstein also earned all-tournament honors for MU.
The Panthers (6-4) were led by outside hitter Megan Lehman's 19 kills, while setter Molly Turk racked up a near triple-double with 48 assists, 17 digs and nine kills.
Marquette captured the all-important first set, 25-19, overcoming a 5-1 deficit early in the frame. MU's offense clicked halfway through and rattled off an 8-2 run to take a 19-12 lead. Freshman outside hitter, Erin Lehman registered six of her 12 kills in the opening set.
The second set was a back and forth affair, consisting of 17 tie scores and eight lead changes. MU held a 23-20 advantage late in the frame, but failed to put UNI away. The Panthers scored the last five points to take the set 25-23 and even the match at 1-1.
"I wasn’t so much disappointed with the fifth set as game two when we really let up on them," Shymansky said. "We had a 23-20 lead and didn’t finish them off. That wasn’t the turning point, per se, because we came out and won the third set, but it was tipping point because of momentum shifting in the match and things kind of leveling out. It really gave Northern Iowa hope at that point."
After cruising to a 25-17 victory in the third set, the Golden Eagles dropped the fourth stanza 25-21.
MU regained its composure to begin the final game and jumped out to a 6-2 lead, forcing UNI to call a timeout. The Panthers were able to pull even at 12-12 off an MU attack error. With match point on the line for UNI, Carlson was able to extend the set by slamming home a kill.
A solo block by senior Kelsey Mattai gave the Golden Eagles a 15-14 advantage and a match point opportunity. MU was unable to convert on the next point, committing an attack error. UNI won the next two points to claim the set, 17-15, and the match.
"We have to learn that skill of really getting on people when we have them down," Shymansky said. "I am pleased with how hard our group worked; this weekend was a lot for them. In our rise to being a championship-level program we have to take on all comers, it doesn’t matter the time or circumstances. We have to take on anybody in our gym and beat them. We didn’t do that today with Northern Iowa."
Marquette returns to action Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. against Pacific in its first match of the Marquette Invitational, which will run through Saturday.
Final Tournament Standings: