It’s possible that Marquette could clinch a Big East tournament spot on Saturday.
They can’t do it by themselves, however.
With a record of 10-3 heading into Saturday evening’s contest against DePaul, Marquette has already guaranteed that they can’t finish any lower than 7th place this season, even with five matches left to be played. Things change very quickly with a victory against DePaul, though. That would mean that they couldn’t be caught by 7th place Butler, and they couldn’t be caught by currently fifth place DePaul, as the Bulldogs currently have eight losses and the Blue Demons would have eight after losing to Marquette.
That leaves sixth place Seton Hall gumming up the works. A Marquette win only guarantees that they could end up in a tie with the Pirates. However, if SHU loses at home to Villanova on Saturday night, that would give them an eighth loss on the season, and thus prevent them from passing Marquette. Bingo bango bongo, MU can’t go lower than fourth in the standings. Even if the Pirates pull off the victory against the Wildcats, MU will still have four matches left to lock up a playoff spot and oh, hey, guess who MU hosts next Saturday night?
That’s right, Seton Hall.
Taylor Louis Watch: Last weekend, Louis became the fastest Golden Eagle to 1,000 career kills. She’s currently sitting on 1,018, which means she needs 20 more to catch Kristin Patterson for 12th place. Louis also has 407 kills on the season, which means she needs just 12 kills to tie Holly Mertens for the 14th best single season total in program history.
Meghan Niemann Watch: The redshirt senior middle hitter has already broken the program record for assisted blocks and total blocks in a career. She’s nearing 1,000 career kills, too, as she currently sits on 982. I don’t think she can get 18 against the Blue Demons with a per set average of just barely over two per frame, but hey, weirder things have happened.
Jenna Rosenthal Watch: Niemann might not have those blocks records for very long. Rosenthal posted the second best assisted blocks season in program history last year, and right now, with 105 on the season, she’s just four short of pulling into a four way tie for the fifth most assisted blocks.
Big East Match #14: vs DePaul (13-12, 7-6 Big East)
When: Saturday, November 5, 2016, at 6pm CT
Where: Al McGuire Center
Audio/Visual: The Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go has the video stream & there’s live stats.
Special Promotion: FREE TACO BAR for students!
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB
Marquette has a 28-29 record all time against DePaul. MU has won the last 11 meetings dating back to the 2009 season, however, the Blue Demons took the first two sets earlier this season before falling 3-2. That snapped a 16 set winning streak by Marquette.
Since Last We Met: The season’s first match against DePaul was Marquette’s turning point into the second half of the season, so the Blue Demons have only played four matches since then. They’re 2-2 in those contests with both the wins (Providence & Georgetown) and losses (Creighton & Villanova) coming against exactly the kind of teams that you would expect DePaul to win and/or lose to at this point.
DePaul is still chasing after 16 wins on the season. That’s how many they finished last season with, and last season was one of the most successful seasons in recent memory for the Blue Demons. With just five matches remaining, it might get a little difficult for them to get there, especially if Marquette takes care of business on Saturday. Still, seven league wins is the most that they’ve had since 2001, back in the Conference USA days.
Brittany Maxwell continues to chug along as one of the best attackers in the Big East. She ranks fifth in the league in kills, and does so at a pretty strong .324 clip. However, Maxwell hasn’t played since hanging 20 kills on MU just three weeks ago. Myah Reed seems to be vacuuming up the extra attacks in the meantime, but she’s only hitting .204 for the season.
Colleen Smith handles the setting duties for DePaul, averaging 9.83 assists per set, which ranks 5th in the Big East. She also chips in on defense with 2.38 digs per frame, which is the second best mark on the team behind Haley Bueser’s 2.49/set.