With the natural progression of time bringing us closer and closer to the start of the 2016 volleyball season, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) released their preseason top 25 poll on August 10th.
YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles earned six points in the polling and are unofficially the #38 team in the country at the start of the season. The AVCA notes at the bottom of the poll that there were multiple teams that were included on just one poll, so I’m presuming that means Marquette is not one of them and the Golden Eagles were included on at least two ballots to get to six points. I mean, let’s be honest: It would be kind of nuts if someone had MU ranked #20 in the country right now. I’ll take three 24th place votes.
Marquette will play four matches this season against teams ranked in the preseason top 25 and a total of six matches against teams that appeared on multiple ballots. In fact, the Golden Eagles start off their season in Los Angeles when they square off with USC, one of the two teams tied for #7 in the country. They’ll also get a crack at #24 Kentucky on September 9th when they visit Lexington for a tournament hosted by the Wildcats. Kentucky is the only team in the preseason rankings that did not finish the 2015 season ranked in the top 25.
That’s two of the four games against teams in the preseason top 25. The other two are against the same team. Creighton, the favorites to win the Big East this season, are ranked #18 in the country to start the season. Marquette will visit the Bluejays to start Big East play on September 23rd, and the return bout in Milwaukee is scheduled for October 22nd.
There’s two teams on Marquette’s schedule that picked up votes in the poll but didn’t make it into the top 25, and both of those games pop up in the non-conference section of the schedule. Just like Kentucky and USC, Marquette will tangle with a team getting votes in their barn when MU visits Wichita State on September 3rd as part of a tournament hosted by the Shockers. WSU picked up 21 points in the poll and are unofficially #35 in the country. Marquette wraps up non-conference action by hosting the Marquette Invitational on September 16th & 17th at the Al McGuire Center. One of the teams coming in for that is Iowa State, who received 59 points worth of votes in the preseason poll to land at the #32 spot in the rankings. The match against the Cyclones will be MU’s lone match on the 16th before playing both UW-Milwaukee and Missouri State on the 17th.
The season opening match against USC is on August 26th at 10pm Central time at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. Marquette will also play UC-Irvine and Santa Clara as a part of the USC Baden Invitational.
You can check out the entire preseason top 25 right here.