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Marquette Volleyball Preview: at Villanova Wildcats & at Georgetown Hoyas

The Golden Eagles will head East to take on the Wildcats and Hoyas after an incredible week in Big East play.

Villanova v North Carolina Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

As I sit here in the library procrastinating my studies for my midterm exam, the Marquette Golden Eagles are coming off an incredible week of volleyball. They absolutely destroyed then #12 Creighton and then took care of Providence the following day. The team is now receiving votes to be in the top 25 as they sit at an unofficial #29. Allie Barber received Big East Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week after she recorded 21 kills against Creighton along with 15 the following day versus Providence. This is Barber’s fourth Big East Offensive Player of the Week award of the season. Barber is really making a case for herself as Big East Player of the Year as she sits at 5th in the nation in kills per set. Lauren Speckman continued her stellar season with 39 assists against Creighton and 43 against Providence. Speckman now sits second in the NCAA in assists per set with 12.30. She has been a major key to Marquette’s offense and has been reliable all season. Also, shoutout to Elizabeth Orf as she assisted five blocks in the win over Creighton. She also has the best celebrations on the team, whether she was on the court or on the sidelines she was absolutely electric with the celebrations. The Golden Eagles will now travel out East to play Villanova and Georgetown. Their chances of working their way into the top 25 will completely hinge on not dropping another match between now and the return bout against Creighton in early November.

Big East Match #8: at Villanova Wildcats (11-7, 4-3 Big East)

Date: Saturday, October 14, 2017
Time: 1 PM CT
Location: Jake Nevin Field House, Villanova, PA
Streaming: Villanova.com, but you’re going to have to pay for it.
Live Stats: GameTracker
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

Villanova is a very odd team. They started off the season well at 3-0, but then dropped their next two to #4 Texas and #17 San Diego, the latter of which also holds a victory over Marquette. They have been trading wins and losses since then, but stole a set from Creighton and Providence. They also swept Xavier, who gave me a bit of a scare when they tangled with Marquette, and Butler. They lost their last match to Seton Hall 3-1, who Marquette swept.

Leading the offense for Nova is Allie Loitz. The 6-3 senior transfer from Pepperdine is averaging 3.40 k/s on the season. She was named to the All-Big East First Team last season while averaging 3.58 k/s. Loitz has only appeared in 47 sets this season. I should also make note that Amanda Pedersen-Henry leads the team in kills with 163 (2.63 k/s). Pedersen-Henry had 14 kills in the win over Georgetown while Loitz had 11. I wouldn’t expect any crazy defensive planning for Nova. I think the combos of Barber and Jenna Rosenthal along with Orf and fellow freshman Hope Werch will be fine to double block.

Setting for Villanova is Emma Decker. The 6-3 sophomore is averaging 10.13 assists per set on the season. She made an immediate impact as a first year setter last season as she recorded 1, 163 assists last season. Decker had 48 assists in the loss to Seton Hall. She has also recorded 108 digs on the season.

Like I said earlier, Villanova is an odd team. My prediction for this one is Marquette winning three sets to one. I feel Nova is good enough to maybe squeak one out from us, especially at home. That being said, I would love to continue the streak of sweeping opponents.

Big East Match #9: at Georgetown Hoyas (7-12, 1-6 Big East)

Date: Sunday, October 15, 2017
Time: 1 PM CT
Location: McDonough Arena, Washington, D.C.
Streaming: GUHoyas.com, but you’re going to have to pay for it.
Live Stats: GameTracker
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

The Georgetown volleyball season is looking like what the Georgetown men’s basketball season will look like: Awful. The Hoyas are 1-6 in the Big East with the lone win coming over Butler. Surprisingly, Georgetown took a set from Creighton and even pushed Providence to five sets. The Hoyas will take on DePaul today before hosting Marquette.

Leading the offense for Georgetown is Symone Speech. The 6-3 middle blocker has 268 kills (3.53 k/s) on the season. Speech has been held quiet in her last two matches with only 15 kills combined. Teams have figured out that Speech is Georgetown’s only offensive weapon and have made sure to mark her as the primary hitter. Jenna Rosenthal and Elizabeth Orf will be told to watch for Speech.

Setting for the Hoyas is Paige McKnight. The 5-9 junior has 688 assists on the season which averages out to 9.30 assists per set. McKnight only had 21 assists in the loss to Villanova. She has also recorded 183 digs on the season and had a team high 13 double-doubles last season.

Marquette will sweep this match easily. This is a great match for the team to play after facing a decent Villanova team the day before. Georgetown is just not very good and Marquette is, it is pretty simple. We have Allie Barber and they do not. Marquette 3-0 over Georgetown. Book it!