Broncos Fall at BIG EAST-Leading Marquette
Carlee Berland led a balanced offensive attack for the Broncos, recording a team-high 10 kills on 22 swings and hitting .318 in the process. Stephenee Yancy had nine kills and hit .500, Jessica Brown finished with eight, and Terin Norris contributed 35 assists and five kills. Marquette controlled the net against the Broncos, notching 7.0 team blocks and hitting .392 in the victory.
The Golden Eagles took control of the early portion of the first set, jumping out to a 14-7 lead, but the Broncos would score points on three consecutive plays - two kills from Brown, and one from Norris - to pull closer. Stephenee Yancy would notch a kill to pull her team with 15-13, and Richelle Ranney would pull the Broncos to within one point with a kill on a back row attack. WMU eventually battled all the way back, tying the score when Marquette couldn't handle a Norris serve and set the ball into the net. The Golden Eagles took a 22-20 lead, but Carlee Berland would rip a kill to tie the score at 22, and would notch a kill one play later to make it 23-22. However, the Eagles scored the next three points to take the first set, sneaking past the Broncos with a 25-23 score.
The Broncos would hold tighter with the Golden Eagles at the start of the second set than they did in the first, but Marquette went on a run midway through to pull away from WMU. Yancy and Norris combined for a block on the right side to start the set, and Yancy tied the score at 8-8 with a bounce kill from the middle. The Golden Eagles went on a 9-4 run, though, building enough distance in the score to hold off a late Bronco rally. Richelle Ranney scored kills on consecutive points to pull WMU within four points at 23-19, and WMU pulled as close at 24-21 before falling 25-21.
The Golden Eagles would open the third set on a 7-3 run, breaking an early 3-3 tie with four straight points against the Broncos. Ranney broke the slump with a kill, and the Broncos made it 8-6 when Brown found a soft spot on the right side of the court for a kill. The Broncos pulled to within 8-7 on a Marquette attack error, but the Golden Eagles scored six of the next eight points to make it 14-9. The Broncos would score three straight points, including an ace from Oliver, to pull within 24-19, but Marquette bounced back and recorded the match-ending kill.
The Broncos return both to University Arena and Mid-American Conference play this weekend when they host Akron and Buffalo on Friday and Saturday, respectively.