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Marquette Volleyball Preview: at #14 Creighton Bluejays & at Providence Friars

The Golden Eagles travel West and then East to play a HUGE match in Omaha followed by a match in Rhode Island 26 hours later.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Marquette Golden Eagles traveled East last weekend, where they took care of St. John’s with no problem, but then went five sets with Seton Hall. FINALLY, a fifth set goes our way. Allie Barber just received her fifth Big East Player of the Week award because she is flippin’ awesome. The real reason, besides being awesome of course, is because she recorded a calm 11 kills in the sweep over St. John’s and 30, yes THIRTY, in the five set thriller over Seton Hall. Because of Barber’s heroic efforts, she also received the AVCA National Player of the Week award. Hope Werch also received Big East Freshman of the Week. Werch had 10 kills against St. John’s and 12 kills against Seton Hall. She also had 16 digs against Seton Hall. After a good weekend out in the New York/New Jersey area, the team now looks to gain some frequent flyer miles as they travel to Omaha and Providence in the same weekend. I’m not a huge fan of this because Saturday’s game against Creighton is the biggest game of the season and I got a feeling this one will be a battle. After this battle, the team is going to have to fly four and a half hours to Providence to play the next day? Seems kinda unfair to me, but it is what is. At least it’s not going the other direction, I guess.

Big East Match #14 Preview: at #14 Creighton Bluejays (18-5, 11-1)

Date: Saturday, November 4, 2017
Time: 1 PM CT
Location: D. J. Sokol Arena, Omaha, NE
Streaming Video: FoxSportsGo
Streaming Audio: Radio: KZOT 1180 AM
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

The last time Marquette played Creighton at the Al, something totally unexpected happened. Marquette swept the Jays and looked like one of the best teams in the country instead of the at the time #12 Jays. Everything went right in that game for the Golden Eagles and everything went pretty much wrong for Creighton. The Bluejays will be looking for revenge from the absolute embarrassment that happened at the Al.

Jaali Winters is still very, very good at volleyball. Winters still leading the team in kills with 269 which comes out to an average of 3.36 per set. She did not play well defensively against Marquette in the first match with three service reception errors, but apparently she is pretty good at defense against other schools (2.67 digs per set). Hopefully she performs as she did earlier this season on Saturday.

Lydia Dimke is also still really good at setting, not as good as Lauren Speckman, but still really good. The 2016 Big East Player of the Year is averaging 10.62 assists per set which is second in the conference behind Speckman.

This match is going to be a blood bath, not literally, but figuratively. Marquette embarrassed Creighton last time they met and Creighton will be looking for revenge, as well as a chance to create distance in their quest for a Big East regular season title. Meanwhile, MU desperately needs the win to pull even with Creighton in the loss column after dropping matches to Butler and Villanova. I see this one going five and since we know Marquette is capable of beating Creighton, I am going to go with the Golden Eagles in this one. If Marquette wants to win this one, they will need to spread the ball around the court and not rely on Allie Barber so much. Barber had 34% of the attacks against Creighton, which is well over MU’s season average for the sophomore. I see Hope Werch and Jenna Rosenthal having great games this weekend. Marquette 3-2 over the ranked Jays.

Big East Match #15 Preview: at Providence Friars (15-12, 4-8)

Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Time: 3 PM CT
Location: Alumni Hall, Providence, Rhode Island
Streaming: Friars.com has the video feed, but you have to pay for it.
Live Stats: GameTracker
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

Providence’s season has not gone well since they left Milwaukee in early October. Since they got swept by Marquette they have gone 2-6 in the Big East. Providence did beat Villanova, who beat Marquette, earlier in the season. The last two sets in the first match were pretty close, but Marquette took them.

The last time we checked in on the Friars, Addison Root was leading the team in kills. As of today, she still is the leader with 342. Root is averaging 3.60 kills per set which is fourth in the Big East. Look for the defense to focus on her a bit more than others, although Jenae Alderson played just as well as Root in the last match.

We will see the battle of Allie Barbers again this weekend. While Marquette still has the cooler Allie Barber, Providence’s Allison Barber has 982 assists on the season, which comes out an average of 10.40 assists per set. Barber is fourth in the Big East in assists per set.

In the battle of Allie Barbers, Marquette will win this match. I do not want to call a sweep because it is kind of unfair how the team has to fly four and a half hours from Omaha to Providence to play on back to back days. This Creighton match is the biggest match of the season and no matter the result the team is gonna be exhausted after battling the Jays. Marquette 3-1 I say, only because of the travel.