Golden Eagles Top Rutgers in Five, 3-2
Oct. 14, 2012
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – A career-high 23 kills from redshirt senior Holly Mertens helped the Marquette University women’s volleyball team to a 3-2 victory (22-25, 28-30, 25-19, 25-17, 15-10) over Rutgers Sunday afternoon at College Ave. Gym in Piscataway, N.J.
The Golden Eagles (17-3) move to a perfect 7-0 in the BIG EAST Conference with the victory which went the distance for MU’s third consecutive league contest. Marquette hit .282 (71-22-174) as a team while rallying from a 2-0 deficit for the win. Junior setter Elizabeth Koberstein notched a season-best 61 assists for Marquette.
Rutgers (16-7, 2-6 BIG EAST) also claimed the opening two sets in the last meeting between the two squads on Oct. 23, 2011 in Milwaukee, another five-set MU win. The Scarlet Knights were led by 17 from Megan Stephenson and 16 kills from Kylie Orr.
The Scarlet Knights prevailed 25-22 in a first set that featured 14 ties and seven lead changes as they hit a combined .342 (16-3-38). Orr and Stephenson each notched six kills in the first for RU, while Orr did not record an error on 10 swings.
With the Golden Eagles leading 20-19 on an Erin Lehman kill, Rutgers shot out to a 23-20 advantage and held on for the first set victory. The Scarlet Knights overcame the loss of junior libero Tracy Wright in the middle of the opening frame to an apparent left knee injury.
Marquette fought off four set points in the second set before ultimately falling 30-28. The Golden Eagles took their first lead of the frame at 22-20 before four consecutive Rutgers points, capped by a pair of service aces from Ronnie Komisarek, gave RU its first set point, 24-22.
MU responded in the second to take the advantage at 27-26 and 28-27, but was unable to capitalize.
A 10-2 run midway through the third set allowed the Golden Eagles to capture a 25-19 victory and pull the match to within a set. Marquette jumped out to a 24-13 advantage before Rutgers pulled out the next six points. Mertens ended the third with her 19th kill of the contest after her attack error gave RU its final point of the frame.
Marquette’s outside hitters picked up the pace in the fourth set to help the Golden Eagles extend the match on the strength of a 25-17 win. Gosh landed six of her seven attacks (.857) for kills in the frame, while Erin Lehman picked up a pair on six solid swings from the outside.
The fifth set was dominated by Marquette as it jumped out to a 12-3 lead and held on for the 15-10 victory.
The Golden Eagles are 10-0 over their last 10 contests and their 17-3 mark signifies their best start to a campaign since joining NCAA Division I.
Marquette is 10-1 all-time against the Scarlet Knights, including a perfect mark of 8-0 since the Golden Eagles joined the BIG EAST in 2005.
Including yesterday’s five-set victory at Seton Hall, Marquette improves to 4-2 this season in matches which have gone the distance.
The Golden Eagles return to the Al McGuire Center to face Cincinnati and Louisville on Friday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 21. The Bearcats and Cardinals are the only two teams in the BIG EAST Conference to have defeated Marquette in the last two seasons.
Sunday’s contest vs. Louisville is the Golden Eagles’ annual ‘Dig Pink’ match, benefitting the Side-Out Foundation’s fight against breast cancer. Fans can help Marquette achieve its donation goal of a $5,000 by donating a set amount or on a per-dig basis for its match against the Cardinals. To donate, go to http://bit.ly/DigPinkMU.