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Marquette Volleyball Preview: vs Seton Hall & vs St. John’s

The Golden Eagles look to remain unbeaten in league play with the Red Storm and the Pirates coming to town.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at St. John Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Marquette Golden Eagles kicked off Big East play with a win over Butler on Tuesday night. Anna Haak led all attackers with 13 kills while Jenna Rosenthal added 12 of her own. The Golden Eagles are now tied for first place in the Big East with Xavier at 1-0. Marquette returns home for the weekend to host east coast rivals St. John’s and Seton Hall.

Big East Match #2: vs Seton Hall Pirates (6-7)

Date: Friday, September 22, 2017
Time: 7 PM CT
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, WI
Streaming: Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go
Live Stats: GameTracker
Special Promotion: FREE CHICK FIL A for the 1st 200 students to check into the match on the MU Rewards app. PLUS: All faculty & staff get TWO FREE TICKETS with their ID.
Twitter: @MarquetteVB

Seton Hall has had a rough start to the season. Starting just 6-7, the Pirates have dropped their last five matches. Three of those five losses have come by sweeps and the other two matches went down to the last set. Like a lot of teams in the Big East, Seton Hall did not play a very hard non conference schedule besides getting swept by Colorado who just entered the top 25 this week. The Pirates now look to open Big East play with a win over our beloved Golden Eagles, but folks I don’t really see how that’s possible.

Middle blocker battle alert! Leading the offense for the Pirates is Abby Thelen. The 6-1 middle blocker is averaging 3.85 k/s and has recorded 204 kills on the season. Thelen recorded a double-double with 24 kills and 21 digs against Buffalo early in the season. Also leading the Pirates is Sharay Barnes with 131 kills (2.47 k/s). The 6-2 outside is a grad student transfer from Kentucky. Barnes recorded 15 kills in the loss to VCU. Look for Jenna Rosenthal to be all over Thelen. Rosenthal is coming off of a huge game against Butler and will use her height advantage to block and continue her impressive attacking against the Pirates.

Setting for the Pirates is Sophia Coffey and Maggie Cvelbar. Seton Hall goes with the joint setter look, but Coffey gets a bulk of the sets averaging 5.58 assists per set. Cvelbar is not too far behind Coffey averaging 3.98 assists per set. Coffey recorded a season high 33 assists in the win over Buffalo while Cvelbar recorded a season high 29 against Bowling Green.

My prediction for this one is Marquette in three. Seton Hall is on a tough losing streak and I don’t see them beating Marquette. Everyone on Marquette is contributing right now and the team is going to be very successful if that continues to happen.

Big East Match #3: vs St. John’s Red Storm (8-7)

Date: Saturday, September 23, 2017
Time: 6 PM CT
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, WI
Live Stats: GameTracker
Special Promotions: Students who go to volleyball at 6 and men’s soccer at 7 get a FREE CAMO BUCKET HAT.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

St. John’s hasn’t really showed fans much this season. They have beat a bunch of teams that are worse than they are and have only played one top 100 team in Baylor. There best win came over Colgate who is considered the 105th best team in the country. The Johnnies are gonna be in for a rough one against Marquette.

Leading the offense for the Johnnies is Julia Cast and Julia Cast only. Cast ranks second in the Big East in kills per set with 4.15, which, y’know, is pretty good. She has recorded 216 kills overall this season. No one on St. John’s will help Cast out on offense. The second leading attacker on St. John’s is Jordan McCalla with 145 kills. Cast is almost averaging 2 more kills per set than anyone else on the team. I’m interested in what St. John’s will do when they find out Elizabeth Orf will be all over Cast like white on rice and that they need someone to try and score them some points. If Cast gets locked down, this might be a quick one at the Al.

Setting for the Red Storm is Erica Di Maulo. The six foot setter from Italy leads the Johnnies with 543 assists so far this season. She is averaging 10.44 a/s so far which ranks 6th in the Big East. Di Maulo was named co-Big East Freshman of the Year last season with Marquette’s Allie Barber. Also something to note, St. John’s has two of the top four blockers in the Big East in Danisha Moss and Hanna Wagner. St. John’s has the talent to be a good team they just need to help out Julia Cast on offense if they want to be successful.

My prediction for this one is again Marquette in three. The Golden Eagles are going to have to deal with the Johnnies’ top blockers and Cast, but I think they will do just fine. If Jenna Rosenthal and Elizabeth Orf can use their blocking powers on Cast, St. John’s will have no offense which will lead to a Marquette win.