It will still be a few months before we know the full non-conference schedule for Marquette women’s basketball, but we already know that this coming year’s slate is going to be a bit of a doozy.
Head coach Carolyn Kieger is going to take the reigning Big East tournament champions to Mexico for the 2017 Cancun Challenge on November 23rd and 24th in (of course) Cancun, at the Mexico Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. The Golden Eagles will play Tennessee on the 23rd before squaring off with Montana on the 24th.
The Lady Volunteers are coming off their 29th straight NCAA tournament appearance in 2016-17. Tennessee finished last season with a record of 20-12 and advanced to the second round of the national championship under head coach Holly Warlick. The Lady Vols may not be the monolith that they were under the direction of Pat Summitt, but they’re still a force to be reckoned with and will provide a strong early season test for a junior dominated Marquette lineup.
Montana went 7-23 last season with a 4-14 record in the Big Sky conference. There is an asterisk, though, as Kayleigh Valley blew out her ACL in one of the first practices of the year for the Grizzlies. Valley set a Montana record for points in a season in 2015-16, and the team obviously suffered without her in the lineup. She’s expected to return for her senior season in 2017-18, and that should make Montana a bit more like the 20-11 team that they were with her.
As you could expect, you can go see the Golden Eagles in Cancun. You can check out this link for more on the accommodations and pricing.