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Marquette Volleyball Preview: vs Xavier Musketeers & vs Butler Bulldogs

The Golden Eagles return to the Al in need of wins after splitting a pair of matches out east last weekend.

Rhode Island v Xavier Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Golden Eagles lost their first Big East match to Villanova last weekend and then destroyed Georgetown the next day. The loss to Nova is not the worst thing to happen. Nova is inside the top 70 teams in the country in terms of RPI, and it was on the road, so it’s not a super bad loss, just not ideal. However, if Marquette has dreams of a Big East regular season title dancing through their heads, they can’t lose another game until they travel to Omaha in early November. The team now starts the second part of the season and hosts Xavier and Butler this weekend.

PLEASE NOTE: The front doors to the McGuire Center have been destroyed. If you’re going to be attending the matches on Friday and/or Saturday, please use the concourse doors on the northwest corner of the building, right near the corner of 12th Street and Wells Street.

Big East Match #10: vs Xavier Musketeers (7-16, 2-7 Big East)

Date: Friday, October 20, 2017
Time: 7pm Central
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Streaming: Big East Digital Network
Live Stats: GameTracker
Special Promotion: Archdiocese of Milwaukee Night, where parish members and students of parish schools get in FOR FREE.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

Xavier has not been playing well at all since the last time we checked in on them earlier in the season. They did take a set from Marquette when they first played, but Marquette handled them great otherwise. Since Marquette beat them, the Musketeers have gone 2-6 with one of those losses coming to non-con foe Dayton.

Personnel-wise, the Musketeers will lineup the same. Kristen Massa still leads the team in kills with 187, but appears to have only played in 55 sets this season while the team has played 87. This leads me to conclude that Massa has been hurt this season which has led to a not so great season for the Musketeers. In fact, the first match that Massa missed was the first go-round with Marquette, and she hasn’t played since. With Massa gone, Morgan Finn has recorded 151 kills during her junior campaign. I bet Jenna Rosenthal and Elizabeth Orf will be all over her and set the primary block scheme for her.

Xavier is still going with the dual setter look with Nadia Dieudonne and Mackenzi Humm. Dieudonne, a 5’8” freshman, is the setter of the future as she has recorded 343 assists on the year (4.57 a/s). Humm is a RS senior and has 369 assists on the year (5.27 a/s). Xavier will be in good hands for the next couple years with Dieudonne as the primary setter. Now she is no Lauren Speckman, who currently ranks third in the country in assists per set, but hey not everyone can have a setter step in and absolutely tear the NCAA up in their first year as the primary setter.

My prediction for this one is Marquette 3-0. The Golden Eagles are still shaking off the loss to Nova and they are still very hungry to win a Big East title. Xavier is on a five game losing streak and Marquette should still playing with some swagger as they’re tied for first place in the league. Marquette will win this game pretty easily, especially with the home court advantage. That means you. You should go to the game and make sure the Golden Eagles have the advantage.

Big East Match #11: vs Butler Bulldogs (15-6, 5-4 Big East)

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 6pm Central
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Live Stats: GameTracker
Special Promotions: The first 200 kids under the age of 12 get a Marquette candy bucket for trick-or-treating! Be sure to get there early to get a chance to trick-or-treat at the Al!
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

Ever since we last checked in on Butler for Marquette’s opening Big East game, the Bulldogs have been playing .500 volleyball. The Bulldogs are 5-4 in the Big East which is good for fifth in the conference. They’re just one game back of the fourth and final conference tournament berth.

Whitney Beck is still leading the Bulldogs offense with 258 kills on the season which comes out too 3.44 k/s. The k/s number has gone down since we first checked in on Beck’s offense. When we first looked she was averaging 3.93 k/s. I bet Ryan Theis draws his defensive schemes around Beck, but nothing crazy is expected though.

Makayla Ferguson is still setting for Butler as she has 804 assists on the season (10.44 a/s). Ferguson is third in the conference in assists per set behind Lydia Dimke of Creighton and the fireball that we call Lauren Speckman. This is Ferguson’s final season, so Butler and co. will be in the Marquette market for a new setter next season.

So, as I sit in my friend Brian’s basement in Chicago at 1:30 in the morning on the Friday of my fall break, I predict Marquette to win 3-0. Marquette is still the better team and they will have home court advantage. So, ladies and gents come out to the Al on Saturday and watch some great volleyball and if you got kids, bring em too for the free Marquette candy bucket for trick-or-treating.

Also, I’d like to share an update on myself. I just finished the first half of my first semester of college and I gotta say college is pretty cool. The people are awesome. School is well, you know school, kinda just have to go no way around it. Watching and writing about these sports is an awesome opportunity, especially with the volleyball team doing so well, they make my job on here a lot of fun. Go Eags.