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2018 Marquette Volleyball Preview: Introducing The Freshmen

The Golden Eagles have three first year players on the roster and one familiar last name amongst them.

Schoessow, Koontz, and Mosher
This was about two steps from (L-R) Katie Schoessow, Ellie Koontz, and Claire Mosher going full Charlie’s Angels here.

We start off our Marquette volleyball season preview the same way we started things off for women’s soccer yesterday: with a look at the freshmen on the roster. Thankfully, there’s only three women to assess here, and when you combine that with Marquette bringing back almost every notable contributor from 2017, there might not be a lot of playing time opportunities to evaluate for this trio.

Still, they’re on the roster and available for head coach Ryan Theis, and it’s not like this year’s freshman class is a bunch of weirdos wandering in off the street, either. These women are highly accomplished prep volleyball players. If they show Theis and his staff how they can contribute immediately, then we’ll see them on the court.

Onwards we go, in alphabetical order.....

Ellie Koontz

Koontz is the most physically imposing member of this recruiting class, standing 6’1”. Her Academy of Holy Angels team won two Minnesota Section 4AA titles while she was in high school, and while captaining the team as a senior, they made it to a third place finish in the state tournament.

Listed as an outside hitter on the roster, Koontz will have to fight her way into the rotation for playing time. MU’s hitting trio of Allie Barber, Hope Werch, and Anna Haak are going to occupy a wide majority of the playing time, and Madeline Mosher has shown herself to be a reliable hand in her two years at Marquette. Still, Koontz has a slight height advantage on both Haak and Mosher, and if she can prove herself valuable in blocking situations, it could lead to playing time for the Minneapolis native.

Claire Mosher

If you read the Ellie Koontz section, then you’re probably already putting two and two together here. Yes, Claire Mosher is Madeline Mosher’s younger sister. However, while the elder Mosher is a hitter, the younger Mosher is a setter. At 5’10”, Mosher is the tallest of the four players listed as setters on the Marquette roster, edging out incumbent starter Lauren Speckman by just an inch. The height advantage may not play a factor though, as Speckman was one of the most productive passers in the country last season and someone’s going to have straight up rip playing time away from her given the expectations for the Golden Eagles this season.

With that said, Mosher might have the skills to do it. Waterloo won two state titles in her time there, both in her first two years and both with Madeline on the team as well, and Claire now holds the program’s career records in assists, service aces, digs, and blocks. Perhaps most impressively, Mosher had already grabbed the assists and digs records by the time her junior season had ended. From a look at her career stats via MaxPreps, it would seem that she did more attacking in her junior and senior seasons (5.0 and 3.3 kills per set respectively) than she did passing (2.7 and 5.3 assists per set), so if she’s going to be purely a setter for the Golden Eagles, then it may take her a little while to find the rhythm to be as productive as Marquette will need her to be.

Katie Schoessow

While last amongst her classmates in alphabetical order, Schoessow might have the best chance to crack into the rotation in her first year with Marquette. As a 5’6” defensive specialist, Schoessow will at least get an opportunity to take the spot in Marquette’s lineup by Manon Geoffroy, the lone senior on last year’s team. Geoffroy played in 114 of Marquette’s 116 sets and appeared in all 32 matches while averaging just over two digs per set. Presumably the libero role will remain in the possession of Martha Konovodoff, which leaves Geoffroy’s spot in Theis’ system landing with either one of two returning players who played a combined 32 sets last season or with Schoessow.

The Mukwonago product has averaged at least 5.2 digs per set in each of her last three years of volleyball for her high school team, and it’s not like her 3.8 per contest as a freshman was lousy, either. She was reasonably successful on serves, averaging at least 0.4 aces per set in her last three seasons of competition. As a senior, Schoessow was team captain as Mukwonago reached the state tournament quarterfinals, the best ever finish in program history. She’s been one of the best players in the state of Wisconsin for the last three seasons, earning all-state recognition each time.