10.4 Weekend Preview: Hey, Where'd Everybody Go?

Jamie Rhodes-US PRESSWIRE

All three teams head out on the road for various contests this weekend, leaving us to observe from afar.

We'll go in chronological order, especially since we did previews for men's and women's soccer each of the last two days.

Volleyball

Marquette (8-4, 1-0 Big East) got their conference schedule started on Saturday in a big way. Freshmen Autumn Bailey and Nele Barber set career highs in kills as MU broke DePaul's 13 match win streak to start the season and earn head coach Bond Shymansky his 100th career win at Marquette. Bailey was named the to Big East Weekly Honor Roll, while senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein was named Big East Player Of The Week, largely because she put up 69 assists against DePaul, a Big East season high. If she has her usual kind of match on Friday night (11.5 assists/set, 14th in the country), Koberstein will become the seventh player in MU history with more than 2,000 assists, and she's not even halfway through her second season in blue and gold.

Match 13: at Georgetown (6-8, 0-1 Big East)

When: Friday, October 4, at 7pm Central
Where: McDonough Arena, in Washington, D.C.
Audio/Visual: Georgetown is streaming video, but you have to pay for it. Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

To throw this weekend into perspective, Georgetown lost their opening Big East match to Marquette's Saturday opponent, Villanova. That loss was the Hoyas' third straight loss as well. Georgetown has the worst hitting percentage in the conference (.163), but hey, Marquette ranks last in opponent hitting percentage (.226). Given GU's lack of being able to connect on attacks, it's not surprising that they average the most team digs. If you're not landing kills, then the other team is and then they're serving to you, making you register digs.

While Georgetown struggles as a team to land kills, Lauren Saar ranks 9th in the conference in kills/set at 3.05. Saar also averages nearly three and a half digs per set and ranks 10th in the conference in that category, while MacKenzie Simpson leads the Hoyas at 3.88 digs/set, which is sixth best in the Big East. Saying Caitlin Brauneis is 7th in the Big East in assists sounds cool, but this is the new Big East with just nine teams, so it's really just a list of the nine setters for each team. Brauneis averages 9.65 assists/set, or to put in another way, nearly two assists fewer that Koberstein.

Match 14: at Villanova (9-5, 1-0 Big East)

When: Saturday, October 5, at 6pm Central
Where: Nevin Field House, in Bryn Mawr, PA, according to Google Maps.
Audio/Visual: Nova is going to make you pay for streaming video, too. Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

The Wildcats will play host to DePaul tonight before Marquette comes in on Saturday night, so odds are they're in for a fight as the Blue Demons try to wash the taste of the loss to Marquette out of their mouths. Villanova comes into the weekend riding a five match winning streak, which is a noticeable turnaround after starting their season 4-5, including a 3-1 loss to #13 Nebraska.

Marquette has to watch out for Villanova's serves, as the Wildcats are second in the Big East in aces, averaging more than one and a half per set, and three Nova players, Mariah Henley, Emma Pettit, and Colleen Hickey, are all in the top seven in the league individually. What the Golden Eagles don't have to worry about is getting their attacks blocked. Villanova is last in the conference in blocks, at 1.59 per set. Lauren Carpenter leads Villanova's attack with 3.55 kills/set, 6th best in the Big East, and Henley is the only player in the Big East to average more than five digs per set.

Men's Soccer

Well, following Wednesday's shutout loss to Wisconsin, I could pretty much just repost everything from the preview for that game. Not much changed about MU from a statistical perspective other than a slight downtick in Charlie Lyon's goals against average.

Match 10: at Villanova (4-4-1, 0-1-0 Big East)

When: Saturday, October 5, at 2:30pm Central
Where: Villanova Soccer Complex, in the Township of Radnor, PA. This just in: Villanova's geography is weird.
Audio/Visual: Their facility doesn't even have lighting, so video streaming is out. Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

Villanova's record is completely even on the year, and they haven't even done it in an interesting fashion. With the exception of their lone tie, they've been alternating losses and wins all season. Since they won their last contest with La Salle, a loss to Marquette is on their docket.

Courtesy of his 43rd minute goal against La Salle, Padraic McCullaugh leads the Wildcats with three goals on the season, which has him tied for eighth in the Big East. Three different Wildcats have three assists (T-7th in the Big East), so they're more than happy to pass the ball around a bit to get it into the net. Keeper Andrew Weakly is stopping 74% of shots on goal, but there's an awful lot of shots on goal. Weakly is second in the Big East in saves at 43, and when you combine that with his save percentage, you shouldn't be surprised to find out that he's last in the league in goals-against average at 1.63.

Women's Soccer

Alone in first place with nine points. 18th straight season with double digit wins. 16 straight Big East wins. 22 straight regular season Big East wins. Unbeaten in their last 17 home matches. That's just how it goes for MU women's soccer.

Three players - Maegan Kelly, Mary Luba, and Mady Vicker - are tied for the team lead in goals with five, which is also tied for 6th best in the Big East. Kelly's six assists have her tied for sixth best in the league in that category as well. Amanda Engel's goals-against average (1.15) keeps drifting lower and lower, even if her save percentage doesn't. Of the 10 keepers with more than 500 minutes played (thanks for ruining things, Providence), she still has the worst save percentage in the league. But when match recaps have to keep including the sentence "Engel didn't have to make a save" because Marquette's not letting the ball get anywhere near Engel (league fewest 29 saves), it's hard to build that save percentage back up.

Match 14: at Xavier (7-4-1, 0-3-0 Big East)

When: Sunday, October 6, at 12pm Central
Where: Xavier Soccer Complex, in Cincinnati, OH
Audio/Visual: While most Musketeers matches have free video stream, this one won't. Lame. Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

Here's the sum total of Xavier's impact on the Big East weekly awards so far this season: Keeper Katie Markesbery was named Goalkeeper Of The Week once.

Ooof.

In the swing around the entire league from last week, here's what I wrote about Xavier back before they started league play:

Hey, nice job by the team picked to finish last! Six of their wins have come by shutout, and they had a seventh shutout in a 0-0 draw against ... Eastern Kentucky. Well, it was a road game. Not a terrible result when you were picked to finish last.

Things looked so good just over a week ago when the Musketeers were 7-1-1. Since then, they've dropped all three Big East matches they've played, including a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Georgetown. Xavier has three players who have registered three goals on the season, freshmen Tori Doss and Maggie Hare, as well as sophomore Catherine Allon who had their lone tally against Villanova last night. Doss and senior defender Sydnee Fields both have four assists on the season to lead the team in that category. Markesbery's goals-against average was completely fine until she allowed all seven of those goals against Georgetown, so now she's got the worst mark in the league at 1.56.

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