ESCANABA - Using a relentless, as well as balanced attack, the Marquette Redettes showed how good they can be on the volleyball court in a 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-19) Great Northern Conference victory over Escanaba Thursday night.
Firing on all cylinders, the Redettes were aggressive and persistent at netfront. Even when the Eskymos were able to dig up kill attempts, the Redettes reeled up another one and sent it soaring to paydirt.
"They were in attack mode tonight," said Marquette coach Sara Peura. "And I think that's Marquette volleyball."
Keith Shelton | Daily Press
Holly Ettenhofer of Escanaba prepares to serve Thursday during the second set against Marquette at Escanaba High School.
It mattered little if it was Hunter Viitala, Emily Boyle or Angela Brown. All were capable of hitting aggressively at netfront and all were in the game from the start.
"They did fantastic. They really pulled it together tonight and they wanted it," said Peura. "They played together as a team so I'm really proud of them."
Serving and communication errors plagued Escanaba which certainly didn't help the Eskymos cause. Escanaba coach Bron Harmon estimated nearly a dozen points were given away in the first set.
Marquette - Liana Storm (8 digs); Hunter Viitala (6 kills); Addison Piotrowski (10 assists, 6 digs); Angela Brown (2 aces); Tayler Smith (1 block); Emily Boyle (2 aces)
Escanaba - Brittany Bruce (2 digs); Holly Ettenhofer (10 assists); Ashley Cook (3 aces, 4 digs); Sydney Gafner (4 kills); Alliyah Edwards (3 kills, 4 digs).
"We really put ourselves in a hole in the first set with poor serving. We probably missed about 10 serves and that slows everything down," she said. "When you can't get any rhythm on serves, it puts a wrench in the whole thing."
The Eskymos did have aggressive hitting from Alliyah Edwards and Sydney Gafner but accuracy was an issue and multiple balls were off the mark and out of bounds.
"We had too many hitting errors, which means we were a little anxious," said Harmon. "But Marquette is playing very well this year and I give them a lot of credit."
After taking the first set handily, Marquette held a 19-10 lead in the second set before Escanaba nearly rallied with a 7-0 run led by Ashley Cook to pull within 19-15. The Redettes however, regrouped and a 4-0 service run by Viitala ended the set.
The Eskymos were again playing catch-up in the third set as an early 7-0 run by Brown put the Redettes in front 8-1. When the Eskymos started to battle back with a 4-0 run to pull within 15-13, Marquette simply answered with a 4-0 run of their own, never giving up the lead in any of the three sets and rolling on to win.
"We do a lot of drills where the whole team has to be able to compete and they really showed it tonight and stayed together as a group versus playing as individuals," said Peura.
Escanaba's Jade Heliin left the game favoring her ankle during the first set.
In Great Northern Conference action Tuesday, Marquette hosts Gladstone while Escanaba hosts Menominee.