After seven straight appearances in the NCAA tournament, the Golden Eagles are a national seed for the first time in program history, and will be hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Marquette will be playing High Point in the first round, and the winner will play either Cincinnati or Illinois State in the second round.
There is the issue of the vehicular damage to the McGuire Center to deal with relative to the Golden Eagles playing host to three matches this coming weekend, of course. Marquette has confirmed that they will be hosting the tournament, so stay tuned on details as to exactly what that means in terms of ticket availability and so forth.
High Point has a record of 21-9 after going 14-2 in the Big South and winning the conference tournament. They’re a battle tested squad after taking on four teams that were ranked at the time in the regular season, although they did not come away with any wins. As of last Monday, the Panthers had an RPI of #56, but they had just one top 100 victory all season.
This is the eighth straight NCAA tournament appearance for Marquette, extending a program record. It’s also the eighth tournament appearance in program history as head coach Ryan Theis continues to build upwards from the foundation established in 2011 by Bond Shymansky.
Marquette will be chasing after a couple of historical marks for the program in the NCAA tournament. Two wins in the tournament will give MU a program record for wins with 28 as well as put the Golden Eagles into the Sweet 16 of the national championship event for the first time in program history. Given that Marquette has already reached a program high national ranking in the AVCA top 25 poll of #16, you could argue that this is the best season in program history already, but it would be keen to add a couple of extra reasons why.
Marquette enters the NCAA tournament with a record of 26-6 after going 15-2 in the Big East regular season. The Golden Eagles defeated St. John’s in the conference tournament semifinals before losing to top seeded Creighton in the title match on Saturday evening. MU is led by a trio of All-Big East First Team honorees in outside hitters Allie Barber and Anna Haak along with middle hitter Jenna Rosenthal. Before the weekend started, Barber ranked 12th in the country with 4.64 kills per set, while Rosenthal ranked #27 in hitting percentage at .381.
Creighton Bluejays was the only other team from the Big East to make the tournament this year. The Bluejays are seeded #9 in the field, which is hella impressive for the Big East to get two of the national seeds. Creighton will play host to South Dakota in the first round, with the winner getting either Saint Mary’s or Washington.