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Marquette Volleyball Preview: at DePaul

Business has picked up in the Big East after last night, and Marquette heads to Chicago to face the woeful Blue Demons.

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In our discussion of the Xavier match earlier this week, we talked about how Marquette needed to win to stay within striking distance of undefeated Seton Hall and Creighton.  On Friday night, that task became slightly easier.

Seton Hall defended their home turf by taking sets 1, 4, and 5 from Creighton and moved to 6-0 in league play, while the Bluejays dropped to 5-1.  The Golden Eagles still get two cracks at the Pirates and a road trip to Omaha to face Creighton, so things have definitely gotten more interesting as far as the track to the regular season title goes.

On Wednesday, Marquette bounced back from their loss to Creighton by bouncing back from dropping the first set against Xavier to take a 3-1 win.  Autumn Bailey and Nele Barber both recorded double digit kills and digs in that match, the second straight match this season where both women have done that.

Big East Match #6: at DePaul (3-14, 1-4 Big East)

When: Saturday, October 11, at 7pm Central
Where: McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, IL
Audio/Visual: DePaul's got free video streaming for you, and live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

Standing in the way of Marquette moving into a tie with Creighton at 5-1 and in second place in the Big East is DePaul.  The Blue Demons have lost 11 of their last 12.  Hey, upside: They opened the season 2-3!  Well, maybe that's not an upside.

Of course DePaul has a lot of problems, because that's how you get to 3-14.  Right at the top of the pile of those problems is how well opponents hit against them.  The Blue Demons allow their opponents to hit .253, the worst mark in the Big East.  Meanwhile, Marquette is the best hitting team in the Big East, landing kills at a rate of 26.4%, the best average in the Big East.

Continuing the statistical struggle for the Blue Demons, they pop in to the individual leaders on just two occasions, and one of them barely counts.  The fact of the matter is, with 10 teams in the Big East, it's pretty easy to land your setter in the top 10 in assists.  DePaul's Colleen Smith ranks 8th in the league with 7.82 assists per set.  Oddly, she's also the only Blue Demon to play in every single set this season.  Smith also takes care of the other individual leader, as she ranks seventh in the Big East with 0.26 service aces per set.

Saige Gallop is the focus of most of Smith's passes, as she leads the Blue Demons in attacks and in kills with 2.95 per set.  Lexi Chanos is their leader in digs, recording 2.66/set, just a shade more than Smith's 2.23 per frame.