How a setter from Peru and some heavy hitters helped Marquette volleyball have one of its best seasons

The road to one of the best Marquette volleyball seasons in program history started with what head coach Ryan Theis remembers as a Scooby-Doo T-shirt.

Yadhira Anchante showed up on her official visit to MU last year in that unique fashion choice that spoke volumes about her irrepressible personality.

The joyful setter from Peru became one of the key ingredients to a quick-developing chemistry that helped the Golden Eagles win a share of the Big East title and earn the right to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament at the Al McGuire Center.

“I was just impressed with the low maintenance of that and fell in love immediately,” Theis said of Anchante’s garb. “I’m not even kidding it was just a white T-shirt, a silly one, and a backpack. And I just went, ‘I love this kid.'”

MU swept Ball State in the first round on Thursday, and then on Friday against a physically imposing Georgia Tech the Golden Eagles rolled to an impressive 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 sweep.

MU will play Texas in the regional semifinal Thursday in Austin, Texas.

The Golden Eagles have only reached the Sweet 16 once before, in 2018 when they also hosted the first two rounds at their on-campus arena.

More:Playing at home – and winning an NCAA Tournament match – is extra special for Marquette volleyball’s Caroline Dragani

More:Hattie Bray used to play volleyball in front of 100 people. Now she hopes to help Marquette win in the NCAA Tournament at a rocking Al McGuire Center.

MU has seven newcomers – fi