Marquette Topples Rutgers, 3-2, Sunday Afternoon

Holly Mertens had career highs with 15 kills and four blocks.

Oct. 23, 2011

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MILWAUKEE - Another BIG EAST foe from New Jersey, another come-from-behind victory for the Marquette University women's volleyball team as the Golden Eagles erased a 2-0 deficit against Rutgers Sunday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center for a 3-2 victory. The sets went, in order, 22-25, 17-25, 25-11, 25-18, 16-14. 

The Golden Eagles improve to 18-6 on the season and a perfect 8-0 in the BIG EAST Conference. Redshirt junior Holly Mertens led the Marquette attack with a career-high 15 kills and four blocks. All four blocks came in the pivotal fourth set.

Senior outside hitter Ciara Jones notched her 1,000th career kill late in the first set, becoming the 11th Marquette player to do so. She recorded 14 kills on the afternoon as she joined teammate Ashley Beyer in Marquette's 1,000-kill club.

The Scarlet Knights (8-17, 1-7 BIG EAST) were led by 19 kills from junior middle blocker Alex Jones.

The Golden Eagles struggled through the first two sets of the match, with Rutgers picking its spots at will. Marquette recorded just one block in both sets combined, while Rutgers attacked at a .583 clip in the second frame.

After the intermission however, Marquette was a different team.  It converted over 50 percent of its attacks in the third set on their way to a 25-11 victory.  After a Sheridan Taylor kill brought Rutgers back to within two at 10-8, Marquette finished the third set on a 15-3 run, keyed by a combined five kills from Mertens and Beyer.

In the fourth set, Marquette fell behind 7-1, but was able to right the ship for a 25-18 fourth set victory.  The Golden Eagles had seven blocks in the match's penultimate set.

The final stanza was a nail biter for Marquette as well, as neither team led by more than three points.  Mertens landed all five of her attacks for kills in the final frame, and Beyer had the final kill to seal the match with a 16-14 victory.

The win marked Marquette's second consecutive five-set comeback victory, after rallying from down 2-0 to beat Seton Hall on Friday night.

The Golden Eagles return to action at 1 p.m. Central time on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Pittsburgh before a 1 p.m. CT Sunday tilt at West Virginia.




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