Niemann Leads MU to Sweep of Georgetown
Oct. 3, 2014
Sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey led the Golden Eagles in kills (11) for the sixth match in a row, but it was redshirt sophomore Meghan Niemann’s blistering hitting percentage of .833 (10 kills) that changed the match for MU.
“I thought anything Meghan touched tonight turned to gold,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “Mary (Nilles) did a great job getting her the ball and putting her in great situations. Georgetown had a beat on it and I thought they were touching a lot of them. They just weren’t able to control it. She was getting a good look at the block, she was just over top of it, she was just inside of right hands.”
The duo powered the Golden Eagles (12-3, 3-0 BIG EAST) to their eighth-straight victory, a streak that dates back to Sept. 13. The win also pushes MU’s BIG EAST streak to 15-straight regular season victories.
“It’s great to be at home,” Theis said. “I am really excited to be back at our place because four of our first five weekends were not only on the road but in the air. It was nice to have a Thursday with a short in-and-out practice. Got things done and took care of business tonight and were efficient.”
Dani White paced the Hoyas (6-11, 0-4) with 10 kills, but Georgetown was held to just a .028 hitting percentage in the three frames. MU hit .313 overall and only committed nine-attack errors. It’s their third consecutive match with nine or less such blemishes.
“We need to serve aggressive against Georgetown," Theis said. "Their middle attack in really efficient and really effective. (Ashlie Williams) and (Dani White) are almost at three kills a game out of the middle. So one of our keys to victory was serving. Lindsey Gosh was a little high tonight but here and there she’ll run off seven straight points. We going to live with a little service error as long as it translates to some point runs.”
Marquette got off to a hot start in the first set behind Niemann’s perfect hitting percentage (5-0-5) and two key diving digs by libero Lauren Houg, who finished with 12 total. Bailey also made her presence felt early by tallying five kills in the first set.
Along with her 10 kills, Niemann also finished the match with match-high five blocks. Her first attack that did not end in a kill came late in the third set. It’s the best hitting performance for an MU player with at least 10 kills this season.
After trading points to start set two, the Golden Eagles pulled away when sophomore Nicki Barnes entered and served four consecutive points to push MU’s lead to as much as 11. Teal Schurr’s three blocks were a big reason the Hoyas were kept off the board during Marquette’s 10-4 run.
Bailey and sophomore outside hitter Nele Barber finished off Georgetown in set three with four kills apiece. Redshirt sophomore Mary Nilles returned to the lineup Friday night and posted 27 assists, her second highest total this season.
Since entering the BIG EAST, Marquette is 6-2 all-time vs. Georgetown with the last victory for the Hoyas coming in 2010.
The Golden Eagles finished off their third-straight conference sweep with rival Creighton coming to the Al Saturday night for a rematch of the 2013 BIG EAST tournament championship. match time is at 6 p.m.
Saturday's "Gold Out" will feature a variety of giveaways for students. The first 600 students at the Al McGuire Center on Saturday will receive an exclusive "Ring Out Ahoya" gold t-shirt and all students will be entered in a drawing to win two free Fanatics tickets for the upcoming Marquette men's basketball season.
In addition to the ticket drawing, all students will earn double Fanatics points for the match to position themselves for tickets to the Dec. 19 men's basketball game against Alabama A&M at the Al.
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