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9.20 Weekend Preview: Back At Home

Friday and Sunday at the Al, and a Saturday doubleheader in the Valley!

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

All three teams are staying at home this weekend, with two women's volleyball matches bracketing a Saturday doubleheader of men's and women's soccer. There's some pretty great special promotions for all of the games, so be sure to check out the information for each specific game!

Women's Volleyball

Following Tuesday's straight sets win over UW-Green Bay, Marquette sits at 5-3 on the season, with all three losses coming to teams ranked in the top 13 in the country at the time. This does not bode well for Friday night, as you'll soon see. Freshman Autumn Bailey leads Marquette with 4.13 kills/set, which also has her second best in the Big East. Elizabeth Koberstein is tied for the Big East lead in assists at 11.40 per set, while Julie Jeziorowski's 4.37 digs per set is good enough for 4th best in the league. Lindsey Gosh is MU's lone representative in the top 10 in hitting percentage (9th, .333), and she tops the league in aces per set, registering 0.59 unreturned serves per set with that powerful leaping lefty strike.

Match 9: vs #4 Florida (9-1)

When: Friday, September 20, at 7pm
Where: Al McGuire Center
Audio/Visual: As always, home matches have FREE video streaming. You can get live stats here.
Special Promotions: Students in attendance get three entries towards a drawing for a PS4 or a $500 airfare voucher, and the first 500 students in attendance get a FREE MU Volleyball Bib Overalls T shirt.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

The Gators have only dropped six sets all year: one each to LIU-Brooklyn, Stanford, and Western Michigan, as well as three to Penn State when they got swept in their only loss of the season. Their trip to the Marquette Invitational represents their last non-conference matches before the start of the SEC season, where they were a unanimous choice to win the league after going 19-1 a year ago.

Senior Chloe Mann and sophomore Ziva Recek are the two players to keep an eye on. Mann was the SEC Player Of The Year in 2012 and an AVCA 1st Team All-American, while Recek was the AVCA 2012 National Freshman Of The Year. This year, they were both named to the preseason All-SEC team, surprising no one. Recek and Mann are 1-2 in kills for UF, with 3.82 and 3.62 per set, respectively. Recek also puts work in on the back line, averaging 2.39 digs/set. Senior setter Taylor Brauneis is one of the few players in the country averaging more assists than MU's Koberstein (11.59/set), and she's also the most dangerous server on the team, averaging 0.56 aces/set. Fun Fact: Associate head coach Dave Boos is a graduate of UW-Osh Kosh.

Match 10: vs UW-Milwaukee (4-6)

When: Sunday, September 22, at 2pm
Where: Al McGuire Center
Audio/Visual: As always, home matches have FREE video streaming. You can get live stats here.
Special Promotions: Students in attendance get two entries towards the PS4/$500 airfare voucher drawing. Anyone with a church bulletin gets two tickets for $5.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

If you ignore the Big Ten, the Panthers are 4-3 on the season. That's not so bad. They've also lost three matches in five sets, so they might be closer to 7-3 than the record really reflects. After opening the season with three straight losses at a tournament hosted by Western Michigan, they rebounded with three straight wins at the Akron Invitational. UWM is 1-3 since evening their record at .500 and are coming off of a 3-2 loss to Iowa in the Klotsche Center. The Panthers were picked to finish third in the Horizon League, but they did receive two first place votes and were just three points back of league favorite Valparaiso in the balloting.

Julie Kolinske and Rachel Neuberger form a dangerous duo up front, with both averaging more than 2.9 kills/set. Kayla Price averages just short of 10 assists/set, but she's been limited to only 28 sets played this season. Junior Taylor Golabowski anchors the back line with 4.59 digs/set.

Women's Soccer

It's hard to get a handle on how this season has started for MU. They're 5-3-0 on the season, but two of the losses were to ranked opponents. The third came last weekend while visiting 2012 NCAA tournament qualifier Illinois State, which on its face doesn't sound so bad. The fact that the Golden Eagles fell behind 3-0 in the opening 30 minutes does sound bad, though. Not surprisingly, Marquette has fallen out of the national rankings after starting the season as a top 15 team. Taylor Madigan is your leading goal scorer at four, while Maegan Kelly's next assist will not only extend her team lead, but will break the program's all time record for assists as well. Keeper Amanda Engel has been scuffling this season (1.39 GAA, .655 save %), but the question has to be asked: Is that a function of Engel's play, Engel's organization of the defense, or the defense's inability to keep the ball away from her?

Match 9: vs Louisville (4-2-1)

When: Saturday, September 21, at 6pm
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: Live stats will be available here.
Special Promotions: Everyone in attendance will get a free ticket for Monday night's match at UW-Milwaukee!
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

I don't like Louisville. I don't care about the sport, I don't like them and I never will. There's probably going to be an annoying level of red in the stands in the Valley, because somehow, Cardinals fans will travel ridiculous distances to support their teams in any sport. Marquette has won the last four matches between these two former conference rivals, including a 2-0 contest in the Valley last year, when MU scored twice in the last 20 minutes.

The Cardinals are coming off of two straight wins, including a 7-2 shellacking of Morehead State. They're 3-1-1 away from Cardinal Park this season, and ended up in a tie for first place with UCF in the American Athletic Conference preseason balloting. Of course, this is to be taken with a grain of salt, as AAC coaches put UL's Angelika Uremovich on the preseason all-conference team even though she tore her ACL in the spring. I guess it was too complicated for head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes to send an email.

Charlyn Corral was also named to the all-AAC preseason team, and currently leads the Cardinals in points (6G, 4A). 2011 Big East Offensive Player Of The Year Christine Exeter is back to her old form (5G, 2A) after missing a large chunk of 2012 because she was with the Canadian national team at the U-20 World Cup. Paige Brown is the keeper of choice for UL, compiling a goals-against average of 1.69 and save percentage of .667.

Men's Soccer

After Marquette split last weekend against Michigan (1-0 win) and Michigan State (2-0 loss), the Golden Eagles find themselves with a record of 3-2-1 and in the same situation as their female counterparts: out of the national rankings. But after their first regular season home loss and shutout since October of 2011, there's good news to be had:

That, of course, is straight from star midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka, who has missed the last five matches after being diagnosed with a concussion following the season opener against UWM. While it's hard to say if being cleared for practice means Ciesiulka is cleared for action on Saturday as well, it's a good sign that he'll be back on the pitch soon. With four different Golden Eagles registering goals this season, and with three of those men tallying two assists as well, it's safe to say that Ciesiulka's biggest impact can be on the defensive end. Keeper Charlie Lyon will undoubtedly accept any assistance that helps lower his 1.29 goals-against average and raise his .704 save percentage.

Match 7: vs Loyola-Chicago (3-2-0)

When: Saturday, September 21, at 8pm/after the women's soccer match ends
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: Live stats will be available here.
Special Promotions: Hot dogs, soda, and chips are just $1 while supplies last, and everyone in attendance will be entered into a raffle to win a ball signed by the whole team!
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

After suffering a 5-2 loss to Michigan in the season opener, Loyola bounced back with three straight wins before dropping a 1-0 loss to Northern Kentucky in their last time out. Only one of their five matches has been at home so far this season, so they're perfectly comfortable traveling, as befitting a team nicknamed the Ramblers. Loyola was picked to finish last in the Missouri Valley Conference, but in their defense, five of the seven teams in the league got at least one first place vote.

Senior Eric Nock has the most talented feet on the team, scoring four goals and adding two assists on the season. Junior Brian Bement is right behind Nock with three goals. Sophomore keeper Tim Dobrowolski has been solid, posting a goals-against average of 1.40 and a save percentage of .708.