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Marquette Volleyball Previews: At Seton Hall & At Villanova

With a Big East tournament slot already in hand, the Golden Eagles look to solidify their seeding.

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Marquette has already clinched one of the four slots in the Big East tournament, which will be in the Al McGuire Center on Thanksgiving weekend.  They're one of two teams to do so thus far, with first place Creighton being the other.  A win on Friday night would do two things.  First, it would stop Seton Hall from being able to lock up a tournament spot this weekend, as the Pirates need two wins this weekend to do that.  Second, it will allow Marquette to keep pace with Creighton.  Two wins by 13-1 Creighton this weekend will allow them to clinch at least a share of the regular season title, but adding in a loss by 12-3 Marquette will wrap it up for the Bluejays.

Getting the #1 seed might not be that important when the Golden Eagles are hosting the tournament anyway, but if I had to bet, I'd imagine that Creighton fans will travel to Milwaukee for the tournament anyway.

Big East Match #16: at Seton Hall (23-6, 11-3 Big East)

When: Friday, November 14, 2014, at 6pm Central
Where: Walsh Gymnasium in South Orange, New Jersey
Audio/Visual: It says "Premium Video," but I didn't get a log in request when I loaded the page.  Live stats here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

In the first meeting between these two teams, Marquette set an NCAA record for points in a match.  Even more impressively, they scored those 117 points in just four sets, as they defeated the Pirates 3-1 (32-34, 25-20, 25-23, 35-33).  Sheesh, can you imagine if these two squads even come close to repeating that effort again tonight?

Since that outing, Seton Hall has gone 5-2, but only 3-2 in Big East matches.  They dropped games against Butler and Xavier, which is how the Musketeers and Bulldogs still have a chance to shove the Pirates out of the Big East tournament.  They're currently on a four match winning streak, which includes toppling St. John's for a program record ninth Big East win.

The focus of the show is still the Manthorpe sisters, as Stacey leads the team in kills and Shelbey leads the team in assists.  Stacey went for 26 kills against Marquette in their earlier meeting, but she had to hit .147 to get there.  No other Pirate got to double digits in kills, but junior Amanda Hansen was the closest with nine.  Tessa Fournier leads the Big East in digs, as she's the only player averaging more than five digs per set.

Big East Match #17: at Villanova (12-17, 5-9 Big East)

When: Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 6pm Central
Where: Jake Nevin Fieldhouse in Villanova, Pennsylvania
Audio/Visual: It says "Premium Video," but I didn't get a log in request when I loaded the page.  Live stats here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

Last time around, Marquette picked up their eighth straight win over the Wildcats, rolling to a 25-16, 25-17, 25-23 three set win in just a shade under 90 minutes.  In that game, Autumn Bailey sandwiched a 21 kill effort inbetween 25 kills against Seton Hall and 30 kills against Butler.  No other Golden Eagles had more than seven kills in that match, but that's fine: Villanova contributed 22 points to the Marquette effort through attack errors.

Since then, Villanova's gone 2-4, all in Big East contests.  To make matters worse, the wins were against DePaul and Providence, who are a combined 2-27 in league play this season.

Lauren Carpenter is the fifth best attacker in the Big East in terms of kills average, but Marquette held her to just two on 13 swings on October 17th.  Emma Petit and Allie DiBernardo share time at setter, combining to average 10.72 assists per set.