I feel like it was just yesterday I was previewing #16 Marquette’s final regular season match against St. John’s.
Well, it was actually last week and not much has changed since other than the Johnnies taking an L from Marquette. So, let’s get previewing.
2018 Big East Volleyball Tournament Semifinals
#2 Marquette Golden Eagles (25-5, 15-2 Big East) vs #3 St. John’s Red Storm (23-10, 12-6 Big East)
Like I said up top, nothing much has changed since last week. The Big East honored Efrosini Alexakou as the Freshman of the Year and she was joined by libero Amanda Sanabia and setter Erica Di Maulo on Big East First Team. The St. John’s coaching staff also won Coaching Staff of the Year after qualifying for the Big East tournament for the first time since 2012.
Still leading the offense for St. John’s is Efrosini Alexakou. The freshman from Greece is averaging 3.50 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 2.66 kills per set. Also, Kayley Wood is averaging 2.86 kills per set, which is really solid and adds to the Red Storm attack. MU head coach Ryan Theis may wanna keep an eye on Alexakou, but I am more than confident in Jenna Rosenthal’s blocking ability.
Setting for the Red Storm is Erica Di Maulo, who is averaging 10.09 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 about 30 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. Di Maulo is a stud and is getting ready for a big senior season next year.
This should go exactly how it went last Friday. A nice clean sweep would be good for momentum going into the final. I’m excited, I think this team is ready to do something.
I was gonna preview the #1 Creighton/#4 Villanova match which is scheduled to follow the Marquette/SJU contest on the BEDN, but it’s gonna be a wash. Creighton is really good and Nova is not. Creighton has studs all around and Nova does not. This will be over in a blink of an eye and should give us the top two seeds squaring off on Saturday evening with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line.