“It was very disappointing,” she said. “We knew we could do it, we just didn’t show up to play. It sucked.”
The Golden Eagles had revenge on their minds Sunday at D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha, Neb. The team had the chance to erase the bad taste left in its mouths after the Bluejays knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament last fall. Instead, everything went wrong, and they were swept 25-21, 25-21, 25-19.
“Our passing went south there for a while and wasn’t giving us good offensive opportunities,” assistant coach Jason Allen said. “That was the most frustrating part. When we were in tight positions like that where we had a chance to come out 1-1 in the first two sets, we just couldn’t do the little things we needed to do, like pass.”
On the bright side, Meghan Niemann led Marquette with 12 kills. The redshirt freshman middle hitter hit .500 and brought her A-game in the big time showdown.
“Meghan Niemann hit .500, which is incredible,” Stier said. “We know that when we do the right things it goes our way.”
Allen agreed and sung Niemann’s and senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein’s praises.
“Those are two things that we can continue to build and go forward with,” he said. “Those two, offensively had really good days for sure.”
Marquette could not stop Creighton junior setter Michelle Sicner. The Omaha native amassed a triple-double, with 33 assists, 15 digs and 12 kills on the afternoon. She hit .579, and Marquette didn’t do enough defensively to slow her at the net.
“We definitely didn’t handle their setter attacking like we needed to,” Allen said. “It wasn’t something that we were going into blind … we knew she does it, and we just didn’t take care of it.”
Creighton bottled up star freshman outside hitter Autumn Bailey all match long. The Canadian had one of her worst games at Marquette, totaling just six kills and hitting negative 0.42. Bailey also had seven attack errors, but did chip in an impressive 18 digs.
“There wasn’t a lot of fight there,” Stier said of the team’s effort. “We just went through the motions. There wasn’t any time where we decided to play. We were lackadaisical.”
Stier said the team will do its best to put the loss behind them and move on.
“We’re not going to dread on it,” she said. “It’s over. It’s learning experience. We’ll take that and move forward.”
Marquette will need to regroup, as it takes on DePaul at the Al McGuire Center Saturday. Six days later, the Golden Eagles get another crack at Creighton, this time in Milwaukee. It’s an opportunity they certainly won’t let slip away.
“We need to show up from point one,” Stier said. “We need to play our game, do the things we know how to do and not worry about what Creighton’s doing. If we play our game, then we should be able to beat them.”