Marquette Falls to Creighton in Four Sets
Oct. 24, 2014
OMAHA, Neb. – After a dominant first set victory, the Marquette University women’s volleyball team suffered a 17-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-21 defeat at the hands of Creighton on Friday evening at D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
“The wheels came off for us after that first set tonight,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “The first set was the best we’ve played all year and if we can do that more consistently we will be more successful. What we are running into is that if one thing goes wrong, then multiple things go wrong. That was this match looked like.”
Reigning BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week Autumn Bailey was the high point scorer for the Golden Eagles (16-6, 7-3 BIG EAST) with 15 kills, but hit just .128 after a strong start to the match.
Senior middle blocker Kelli Browning led the Bluejays (16-7, 9-1 BIG EAST) to their league-high ninth BIG EAST victory with a match-best 18 kills, leaving her just three shy of 1,000 in her career. She hit .593 in the victory, while Creighton hit a combined .231.
Leah McNary and Jess Bird each also posted 11 kills for Creighton.
Marquette took the first frame 25-17 as Creighton tallied 11 attack errors and hit just .053 to begin the match. A slew of early Creighton attack errors allowed Marquette to build an early 15-10 edge as the Jays called their first timeout of the match following their seventh hitting miscue.
MU took the next four points out of the timeout and eventually built its largest lead of the frame, 24-17, as Niemann landed her first ace to put the Golden Eagles at set point.
The Bluejays took control of the match following a 25-20 victory in the second set, which featured a late 6-0 run from the Jays. Creighton claimed seven of the final nine points of the frame and ended up hitting a combined .314.
CU rallied in the third after junior libero Kate Elman suffered a right arm injury while pursuing a Niemann attack that tied the stanza at 18. The Golden Eagles took the next point for their last lead, 19-18, before the Jays called their final timeout to regroup. Creighton reeled off the next six points and carried that momentum into the intermission.
“In that third set we were up a little and then down a little and then even,” Theis said. The injury happened and nothing goes well from there for the next 30 minutes until the end of game four. I think we missed an opportunity to get that second set and have a chance to go up 2-0 on the road. We missed that opportunity and Creighton took the momentum and rolled with it.”
The Bluejays burst out of the break, jumping to a 7-1 lead on their way to a 25-15 win in the third frame. McNary posted a set-high eight kills for Creighton, which hit .381 as a team, while Bailey was held to just one kill for the visitors.
Browning helped CU build a large advantage in the fourth set with six kills. The Bluejays closed out the match with a 25-21 win after MU fought off four set points before Michelle Sicner closed out the match with a kill.
In the last match against Creighton, a 3-1 loss at the Al McGuire Center on Oct. 4, Bailey led MU with 24 kills and 18 digs, while Bird posted 18 kills for the Bluejays.
The Golden Eagles return to action on Sunday, Oct. 26 in Washington, D.C., against Georgetown at McDonough Arena.
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