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#17 Marquette Volleyball Preview: vs Seton Hall Pirates & vs St. John’s Red Storm

Your 17th ranked Golden Eagles host a pair of East Coast teams this weekend to close out the regular season.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Seton Hall vs Butler Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Alright folks. After flipping between 18 and 19 these past couple weeks, your Marquette Golden Eagles volleyball is now a program best 17th in the country according to the AVCA coaches poll. They now host Seton Hall and St. John’s for the final two regular season games of the year. This will also be a preview for the Big East Tournament as Marquette is already locked into the #2 seed and will play #3 seed St. John’s in the semifinals in Omaha next weekend.

VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE [8:52am]: Seton Hall had travel difficulties in getting to Milwaukee, so Friday night’s contest has been postponed. Saturday’s game against St. John’s is still scheduled as planned. It is possible that the SHU game will be rescheduled for Sunday, as the Pirates are still slated to play DePaul on Saturday, but as the MU/SHU match will have little to no impact on the Big East standings, don’t count on it.

Big East Match #17: vs Seton Hall Pirates (9-20, 4-12 Big East)

Date: Friday, November 16, 2018
Time: 7 PM CT
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, WI
Video Streaming: Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Special Promotion: First 100 students get a free MU knit hat, and the first 150 students get free Chick-Fil-A.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

Seton Hall is bad, really bad. They swept Providence who is really, really bad and they beat DePaul and Georgetown once. This has been a nightmare season for most teams in the Big East.

Holding it down on the offensive side of the ball is Abby Thelen who is averaging 3.61 kills per set, which is pretty impressive considering how bad the Pirates are. Besides Thelen, no one else is producing for the Pirates, so I believe Coach Theis will not have to worry too much about blocking schemes to start out this homestand.

Setting for the Pirates is Sophia Coffey and Maggie Cvelbar. Coffey is averaging 7.34 assists per set while Cvelbar is averaging 4.36. That’s a surprisingly large disparity for a two-setter setup, and I’m suddenly wondering why SHU doesn’t just go with Coffey.

Like I said before: Seton Hall is bad, really bad. This should be a clean sweep for the Golden Eagles.

Big East Match #18: vs St. John’s Red Storm (22-9, 11-5 Big East)

Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018
Time: 6 PM CT
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, WI
Video Streaming: GoMarquette.com
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Special Promotion: Everyone with a ticket from Saturday’s men’s basketball game gets in FOR FREE. Students who attend both MBB vs Presbyterian AND this match will be entered into a drawing for A FREE PAIR OF JORDANS.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

This will be Senior Night for Anna Haak, Abby Julian, and Jenna Rosenthal, so turn up early for the prematch ceremony. It’s not that often that you get to bid farewell to the program’s all-time leader in blocks. [what’s that? Meghan Niemann set this record just two years ago? Dang.]

This has been a great season for the Red Storm. They’ve beat everyone they’re supposed to and they dropped a match to Nova and Georgetown each. They have been solid all around this season and have earned the three seed in the Big East Tournament.

Leading the offense for St. John’s is Efronsini Alexakou. The freshman from Greece is averaging 3.60 kills per set and has been a full-time star for the Johnnies after working her way into the lineup earlier this season. Opposite of Alexakou is Rachele Rastelli who is averaging 2.64 kills per set. Also, Kayley Wood is averaging 2.85 kills per set, which is really solid and adds to the Red Storm attack. Ryan Theis may wanna keep an eye on Alexakou, but I wouldn’t be too worried about the freshman.

Setting for the Red Storm is Erica di Maulo, who is averaging 10.11 assists per set. Di Maulo has been great this season for the Johnnies as she is spreading the ball around the floor and has seemed to enjoy Alexakou’s presence on the court. The 6’1” Greek has played 20 fewer sets than her fellow attackers, but she’s neck-and-neck with them in terms of attacks. Whether it’s di Maulo getting comfortable with her or merely her efficiency, it’s helped both women.

This is a pretty big game as Marquette will take on St. John’s again next week in the Big East Tournament. I still think Marquette is significantly better than St. John’s so I am gonna say a quick sweep for the Golden Eagles.