DePaul falls twice to Marquette in volleyball season opener


Marquette Athletics

DePaul senior Emma Price goes up for a spike during a match against Marquette.

DePaul’s women’s volleyball squad lost both matches in its spring season debut at No. 25 Marquette on Friday and Saturday afternoon. 

Friday was the first time that Head Coach Marie Zidek led the Blue Demons to a match in 447 days, and since then, many things changed for the team. 

Five freshmen and a multitude of transfers played for their first time in Blue Demon garb, in addition to returning starters such as Donna Brown, Emma Price, Avarie Evans-Allen and Isabelle Banez. 

For their first set on Friday, DePaul put up a good fight but lost 25-19 as Marquette held a steady lead throughout. The second set was more lopsided, ending 25-13, while the last set once again ended 25-19, allowing Marquette to secure the straight-sets win. 

DePaul senior Avarie Evans-Allen powered the Blue Demons with 11 points and 10 kills. Additionally, Molly Murrihy, a transfer from Memphis University, led DePaul with 22 assists and freshman Hanna Karl added two aces, all to round out the first game. 

Golden Eagles’ sophomore Hannah Vanden Berg was dominant, leading Marquette with 11 points to secure the sweep. 

Both teams met for a rematch on Saturday and while DePaul played better having a game of experience, they ultimately fell short in all three sets once again. 

DePaul lost handily 25-14 in the first set, but started well in their last two sets having three-point leads, early in both. However, Marquette won the second set after winning a point on a close replay, 25-20, and took the final set 25-15 after a big rally.

All-Big East returning junior Donna Brown played a more pivotal part in the second game for DePaul in the front row aiding senior Emma Price, who scored 10 points while adding eight of her own. 

Two freshmen, Rachel Krasowski and Phoenix Lee, had breakout games for the Blue Demons on Saturday. Krasowski was a floor general in the back row and saved many attacks from Marquette with 13 digs, while Lee had 12 assists on the day.  

Senior transfer Taylor Wolf from Green Bay led Marquette with 13 points, while Hope Werch and Vanden Berg were also big contributors for the Golden Eagles in their second sweep.

DePaul was plagued by net violations during both games, which is sure to be a focal point for Zidek and this talented, but vastly inexperienced, Blue Demons team moving forward. 

Under the circumstances of Covid-19 restrictions and city ordinances, all players from Marquette and DePaul wore masks during the game. Additionally, only friends and family were allowed into the Al McGuire Center to view the game.  

DePaul showed promise against a talented and upperclassmen-led opponent who has gotten the best of the Blue Demons in the past couple of years, and has won 27 straight sets over DePaul, dating back to 2016. 

Considering that Marquette has appeared in nine consecutive NCAA tournaments and has already completed their fifth straight-sets victory of the 2021 season, DePaul has a lot to build from following this weekend.

DePaul’s next game will come against their first non-conference opponent with Milwaukee University heading to McGrath-Phillips Arena on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. CST.