The Marquette Golden Eagles will take on the Xavier Musketeers today as the Golden Eagles look to increase their winning streak to five games. Winners of their last 12 consecutive sets, Marquette is firing on all cylinders. Everyone is contributing and playing amazing volleyball right now. Shout out to Jenna Rosenthal who was just named Big East Offensive Player of the Week. Over the past week, the Golden Eagles went 3-0 in Big East play and Rosenthal racked up 3.67 kills per set while hitting a whopping .519. Think about it: If Rosenthal swung on you, it was more likely than not dropping to the floor. She led MU with 39.0 points and added 12 assisted blocks, pushing her up to fifth place on Marquette’s all-time assisted blocks list. Lauren Speckman is averaging 13.22 assists per set in her first three Big East matches as the primary setter. Speckman has been nothing short of sensational all season as she is averaging 12.10 a/s for the season, the fourth best mark in the country.
Big East Match #4: at Xavier Musketeers (6-9)
The Xavier Musketeers volleyball season hit an early bump in the road during the non-conference portion of the schedule. The Musketeers lost six matches in a row with the closest score being 3-1. Xavier opened up Big East play with a 3-2 win over DePaul, but then lost to Butler 3-1.
Leading the offense for Xavier is Kristen Massa. The 6-1 outside hitter from Cincinnati is averaging 3.36 kills per set and has recorded 185 kills overall. The hometown hero recorded 20 kills in their loss to Colorado. Also contributing on offense for Xavier is Laura Grossman. The 5-10 junior outside hitter is averaging 2.37 kills per set and had a season high 14 kills in a win over Western Michigan. Look for Jenna Rosenthal to stay on Massa for the most part, Xavier likes to spread the ball around but Massa is the main target.
Xavier likes to go with the two setter look with Mackenzi Humm and Nadia Dieudonne. Humm, a redshirt senior, leads the Musketeers with 267 assists (5.93 a/s) while Dieudonne, a true freshman, has 240 (4.80 a/s). Humm had a season high 37 assists against Duquesne while Dieudone had 43 assists against Western Michigan. Head coach Christy Pfeffenberger (Peff-IN-berger, thought I would try and help out the audience) intends to use Dieudonne as the setter as the future and is getting her early experience while learning from Humm. For what it’s worth, Dieudonne has played in more sets so far this season than Humm. Believe it or not: neither of them have played in every match this season.
My prediction for this is the same as the last three: Marquette 3-0. To be honest, with the way Marquette is playing right now, all of my predictions will be 3-0 until we meet Creighton on October 5th and even with the way the Golden Eagles are executing, they can take down Creighton too. Jenna Rosenthal, Allie Barber, Lauren Speckman and Martha Konovodoff are playing out of their minds right now and are very close to taking over the Big East. You heard it here first: Marquette 3-0 over Xavier.