Marquette delivers surprising sweep of Rainbow Wahine in volleyball

·4 min read

Aug. 29—In its second trip to Hawaii, Marquette again found a way to frustrate the home team.

Marquette super senior Taylor Wolf posted a triple-double and the Golden Eagles won two tight sets and held off a Rainbow Wahine rally in the third in a 26-24, 27-25, 25-21 sweep on Saturday at SimpiFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

Marquette handed UH a five-set loss in Robyn Ah Mow's debut as Hawaii head coach in the 2017 season opener and this time finished off a win in three to take a 2-0 record into the final day of the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic. UH fell to 1-1 entering today's 5 p.m. tournament finale against Texas A &M.

Through two nights, Wolf established herself as a frontrunner for tournament MVP honors after posting 11 kills, 23 assists, 12 digs, five blocks and three aces to help Marquette snap UH's 10-match home winning streak.

"Marquette is obviously a great team, but I always think about our side, " Ah Mow said. "Today was just a little different. We didn't even get our middles going, our passing was so-so ... and the game was still close.

"The one thing I liked out of tonight was the fight. ... (Marquette is ) a core team. It played (together ) last year, it played the year before. We're trying to get things together and I like my team's fight. They just kept fighting."

Wolf, a two-time Horizon League Player of the Year at Green Bay before transferring to Marquette last season, opened the weekend by filling the stat sheet with 15 kills, eight blocks, 24 assists and three aces in the Eagles' five-set win over Texas A &M on Friday. She hit.450 in Saturday's match.

Hannah Vanden Berg led the Golden Eagles with 12 kills on.391 hitting and Savannah Rennie hit.421 in a 10-kill, six-block performance for a Marquette attack that hit.303 to UH's.183.

Wahine senior Brooke Van Sickle followed up her career-high 16 kills against Fairfield on Friday with 14 on Saturday while hitting.393 and had four of UH's six aces. Middle blocker Amber Igiede finished with eight kills on 12 attempts without an error.

The rest of the lineup struggled to finish points a night after an efficient performance in a sweep of Fairfield.

"Obviously losing doesn't feel good, but it's a learning experience, " Igiede said.

"Not to take away from Marquette, they're a good team, but it was just really on our side. It was just a little out of rhythm tonight. So picture if we're more in rhythm, moving as a unit."

UH junior Mylana Byrd started again at setter and shared time with freshman Kate Lang, who finished with 16 assists and eight digs while playing much of the second and third sets. Byrd finished with 15 assists and six digs.

"I loved playing tonight, I think it was a great way to learn the ins and outs of the team, " Lang said. "It was super choppy and I think taking that into account for tomorrow I can try to make it more smooth as a setter, because that's kind of the job. So I'm going to take it as a learning experience and do better tomorrow."

The first two sets included 21 ties before Marquette managed to pull out the key points late.

Neither team could build more than a two-point lead in the first set and UH took a 22-21 lead on back-to-back aces by Van Sickle. The Wahine had a swing for the set at 24-23 when Martyna Leoniak snuck a kill past the block off a bump set by Igiede. A UH net violation forced deuce and Marquette moved ahead when Riley Wagoner hit long. Ellie Koontz's kill off the block then gave the Golden Eagles the first set.

Marquette rolled the momentum into a 5-1 lead in the second set before UH caught the Eagles at 10-10 on a block by Van Sickle. UH took its last lead at 22-21 on a Van Sickle ace, but Marquette edged ahead again and converted its third opportunity at set point to take a 2-0 lead.

The Golden Eagles bolted ahead to a 6-0 lead to open the third set with Wolf on the service line and built a 15-5 lead. UH closed to 21-18 with a 4-0 run that included two kills by freshman Mia Johnson in her UH debut and an Igiede kill in the middle.

But Marquette was able to trade sideouts and closed the match with Wolf's 11 kill.

Texas A &M 3, Fairfield 0 Lauren Davis put away 14 kills to lead the Aggies (1-1 ) to a 25-23, 25-18, 25-16 sweep of the Stags (0-2 ).

Davis, a 6-foot-4 junior, took 28 swings and hit.286. Middle blocker Mallory Talbert added eight kills in 14 attempts with no errors. Libero Macy Carrabine anchored the Texas A &M defense with 21 of the Aggies' 49 digs.

KJ Johnson led Fairfield with 10 kills.

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