*Bruce Buffer voice* IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT’S TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME FIVE SETS (most likely) IN THE BIG EAST MATCH OF THE SEASON.
Why all the dramatics? Friday night’s Marquette Golden Eagles volleyball match against Creighton is for all the marbles in the Big East. Each team has lost one match, but Creighton has the tiebreaker because they beat the Golden Eagles at the Al earlier this year. However, with a win on Friday night, MU can wipe out that tiebreaker by handing the Jays their second loss of the season. One way or another, someone leaves DJ Sokol Arena with their second loss of the season and then just needs to close out the regular season on Sunday for that very fancy regular season title.
It’s a big deal for Marquette, because the Golden Eagles have not won a Big East regular season title since 2013, the first year after The Reformation. They’ve been sitting second to the Bluejays every year since then, and as much as the Golden Eagles have had success, that one extra trophy has eluded them year after year.
Marquette has been on a tear in the (let’s be honest) subpar Big East since they suffered the five set loss to the Jays. The injury bug has hit Marquette pretty hard, with KJ Lines seemingly out for the season, Madeline Mosher getting an injury-related token appearance on Senior Night, and Hope Werch turning up with a big ol’ wrap around her leg during MU’s last match. Luckily, Lauren Speckman is back and playing like her old self again, which is great. Oh yeah, after playing a most likely grueling match against Creighton the team has to jump on a plane to Providence, which is less than ideal.
Big East Match #17 Preview: at #12 Creighton Bluejays (22-4, 15-1 Big East)
Date: Friday, November 22, 2019
Time: 6 PM CT
Location: D.J. Sokol Arena, Omaha, NE
Streaming: Big East Digital Network on YouTube
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB
This is the biggest match of the year folks, there is no other way to put it. This is for all the marbles, the winner of the Big East regular season, the one seed in the Big East Tournament. Creighton lost to Villanova, Marquette lost to Creighton, who will leave Sokol Arena with a second loss? We shall find out on Friday night. @mjdemarinis, care to make a wager?
Keeley Davis is now the go to on offense, as she is averaging 3.31 kills per set. Coincidentally, 31 is also the number of kills that Davis laid down on Marquette back in October at the McGuire Center. Davis has been great all year in stepping into the legendary shoes of Jaali Winters. She can also hit the life out of the ball, which is quite horrifying. The Jays have three more hitters hitting over two kills per set, with two of them close to three. This Jays team is full of weapons and does create a fascinating chess match between CU’s Kirsten Bernal Booth and MU’s Ryan Theis in terms of schemes.
Madelyn Cole is setting for the Jays and she averaging 11.06 assists per set. That’s good for 27th in the nation. Cole seems to always be in stride with her hitters and they don’t miss a beat.
This is going to be a long, grueling match for both teams. I definitely see this match going five sets again, just like October, but I think Creighton is going to take this one at home. These two teams will most likely meet again, barring any post season madness, in the Big East Tournament final, which will be a home game for Marquette. Fingers crossed I’m wrong and then right again, in that order.
Big East Match #18 Preview: at Providence Friars (6-23, 1-15 Big East)
Date: Sunday, November 24, 2019
Time: 12 PM CT
Location: Alumni Hall, Providence, RI
Streaming: Friars All Access (shoutout to GoMarquette.com for giving me this link because Providence’s site didn’t have a link) (anti-shoutout to PC for charging us to watch)
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB
This game is a waste of time. You’re going to make Marquette fly to Omaha and then all the way across country to Providence to play 42 hours later AND they lose an hour in the time change AND they (might) have to win the match to officially clinch sole possession of the regular season title? No thanks. Just give Marquette a win and call it a day.
This is always the worst road trip of the season, both for volleyball and women’s basketball, and to make it worse, Providence STINKS at volleyball.
Jennifer Leitman leads the offense with 2.91 kills per set. She has been a pleasant surprise this season as she is a freshman. The Friars only have two more players averaging above two kills per set. This offense is less than ideal, considering they are a very young team, but maybe that will turn into something in the next few years.
Allison “Not Allie” Barber is setting for the Friars and she is averaging a rough 8.12 assists per set. It is tough to get those numbers up when your team doesn’t really have a chance to score. The offense is rough, but Barber is doing the best she can to put her hitters in positive positions.
This is a waste of the Golden Eagles’ time. Just give them the win and let them come back to Milwaukee two days early. Marquette in three.