On Tuesday, Marquette announced the 2015 women's volleyball schedule. The Golden Eagles will play 13 non-conference games in addition to the 18 game Big East schedule as they look to make it to their fifth consecutive NCAA tournament. There are a total of seven teams on the slate that qualified for the 2014 edition of the national championship tournament, including home and away dates with both Creighton and Seton Hall.
I don't know how much of this schedule was constructed six months ago. But with five 2014 NCAA tournament teams in the non-conference schedule and all in the first nine matches of the season, I have to wonder if the answer is actually "a lot of it." This is exactly the kind of schedule that you'd assemble to test the lineup that Marquette would have been expecting to have at this point, but as we're well aware, Autumn Bailey and Nele Barber have both transferred. Meghan Niemann is MU's leading returning hitter, and she's never been the focal point of the Golden Eagles' offense. We're going to get a really good idea of what kind of coach that Ryan Theis is very quickly in 2015. He's going to have to reforge his offense around transfer setter Sara Blasier and transfer outside hitter Joy Miley, and do it immediately. Given the largely sorry state of Big East volleyball, Marquette needs to get wins in the non-conference end of things in order to guarantee themselves an at-large bid to the Big Dance.
Here's the schedule:
|Fri., Aug. 28||vs North Dakota (Ames, IA)||4pm|
|Sat., Aug. 29||vs Dayton (Ames, IA)||11am|
|Sat., Aug. 29||at Iowa State||6:30pm|
|Fri., Sept. 4||vs Oral Roberts (Springfield, MO)||4pm|
|Sat., Sept. 5||vs Miami (FL) (Springfield, MO)||11am|
|Sat., Sept. 5||at Missouri State||7:30pm|
|Fri., Sept. 11||at Wyoming||1pm|
|Fri., Sept. 11||vs Northern Colorado (Laramie, WY)||6pm|
|Sat., Sept. 12||vs Kansas (Laramie, WY)||11:30am|
|Fri., Sept. 18||Wichita State||7pm|
|Sat., Sept. 19||Albany||12pm|
|Sat., Sept. 19||IUPUI||7pm|
|Wed., Sept. 23||Xavier||7pm|
|Sat., Sept. 26||DePaul||6pm|
|Wed., Sept. 30||Butler||7pm|
|Fri., Oct. 2||at Villanova||6pm|
|Sat., Oct. 3||at Seton Hall||5pm|
|Fri., Oct. 9||at Georgetown||6pm|
|Sun., Oct. 11||at Creighton||1pm|
|Fri., Oct. 16||Providence||7pm|
|Sat., Oct. 17||St. John's||6pm|
|Fri., Oct. 23||Seton Hall||7pm|
|Sat., Oct. 24||Villanova||6pm|
|Mon., Oct. 26||Milwaukee||7pm|
|Sat., Oct. 31||at DePaul||7pm|
|Fri., Nov. 6||Creighton||7pm|
|Sat., Nov. 7||Georgetown||6pm|
|Sat., Nov. 14||at St. John's||1pm|
|Sun., Nov. 15||at Providence||11am|
|Fri., Nov. 20||at Butler||5pm|
|Sat., Nov. 21||at Xavier||6pm|
Some quick notes on the schedule:
- The 2014 NCAA tournament teams in the field are, in order: Dayton, Iowa State, Miami (FL), Northern Colorado, Kansas, Seton Hall, and Creighton.
- September 18th is kind of awfully late to have a home opener, but thems the breaks when it comes to the non-conference setup. You go where the invites to events come from.
- Watch out for October 9th & 11th. 6pm on Friday in Washington, D.C., to play the Hoyas, and then in Omaha just 43 hours later to play the Bluejays in a game that could go a long way to determine the top seed in the Big East tournament.
- I'm going to be super upset if the men's basketball team has their season opener on Friday, November 6th. That would be the first day that they're allowed to do so, and to put it up against the home date against Creighton? LAME.
- With whatever else is going on with the Marquette roster, the good news is this: Erin Lehman is the only senior that will be honored on Senior Night against Georgetown.
- There are 3 games on the schedule that conflict with men's or women's soccer happening at the same time in Milwaukee: Wichita State (MSOC vs Northern Illinois), St. John's (MSOC vs Creighton), & Xavier (WSOC at Milwaukee)