Alas, Marquette finishes up in the preseason poll as the unofficial #26 team in the country. The Golden Eagles ended up with 163 points, trailing 25th place Colorado State’s 174 by just 11 points.
Marquette is scheduled to play six matches in the 2018 season against teams ranked in the preseason top 25. Four of those six will quite conveniently come within the friendly confines of the McGuire Center. In an eight day span in early September, Marquette will host #10 USC, #8 BYU, and #9 Wisconsin. MU’s fourth home match against a preseason ranked foe will come on October 26th when #13 Creighton comes to Milwaukee.
The two other matches will both be true road games, with the first one coming on the second day of the season. Marquette opens the 2018 campaign down in Waco, Texas, where they will play the hosting Bears in their third and final match of the Baylor Invitational. MU’s other road game against a ranked opponent is on September 23rd, when the Golden Eagles head to Omaha to tangle with Creighton in the first weekend of conference play.
Those five teams aren’t the only ones on Marquette’s schedule receiving votes. LSU (unofficially #36, 13 points) is also headed to Waco, and Western Kentucky (#32, 58 points) will be waiting in Saint Louis in an event hosted by the Billikens in the second weekend of action.
All in all, it’s quite the challenging non-conference schedule for the 2018 Big East favorites. Yes, that’s right, Marquette is ever so slightly favored by the league’s coaches over Creighton, the defending champs. It was a narrow double championship for the Jays in 2017, splitting the regular season matches with Marquette while finishing just one game ahead of MU in the standings while also edging Allie Barber & Co. in five sets in the conference tournament title game. The national view may make it look like there’s a large gap between the two dominant forces in the Big East heading into 2018, but there’s not really a reason to argue against anyone who thinks that Marquette isn’t capable of hoisting the trophy.
Head coach Ryan Theis and his team will kick the season off on August 24th, with an afternoon contest against Texas State before moving on to LSU and Baylor the following day.
You can check out the full top 25 poll right here.