Big news: YOUR Marquette women’s volleyball team will be starting the 2019 season ranked #16 in the country! The AVCA released their preseason poll on Tuesday, confirming that the Golden Eagles will be ranked to start the year.
Bigger news: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the first time that Marquette will be ranked to start the season. Last year, MU came in receiving votes, but they wouldn’t actually be ranked until September rolled around. The Golden Eagles finished up last season at #15 in the final poll of the year, which was the highest ever ranking in program history.
Last year was a series of “all-time new high rankings” for Marquette, and as they start the season one spot lower than their all-time best, that might be the case again in 2019. As we’ll get to in a minute, they’ll certainly get their shots at proving they belong ranked higher as the non-conference slate progresses.
The AVCA voters confirmed what the Big East coaches already thought: Marquette is the favorite to win the Big East this season. Creighton joins the Golden Eagles in the preseason top 25, coming in at #18 in the country.
There are four teams in the preseason top 25 on Marquette’s non-conference schedule, and two more that are receiving votes on more than one ballot. For whatever reason, the AVCA doesn’t tell people if you’re only on one ballot, but they’re happy to tell you that Kansas got two 25th place votes for two total points. Weird, but okay.
Where was I?
Oh, right, the non-con opponents. Three of MU’s first six opponents are in the top 25, with two in the top 10. The Golden Eagles visit Provo, Utah, for the opening weekend of the season and will wrap up the trip with a road game against #9 BYU. From there, they come back to their home state to go on the road to face #5 Wisconsin. The home opener comes on September 7th against Syracuse, but it’s September 8th against #20 Baylor that gives MU their only home date in the non-conference slate against a ranked foe.
The following weekend, MU will head down to an event hosted by Illinois State. There, they’ll get a chance to measure up against UCF, who earned 45 points in the polling to be the unofficial #29 team in the country. After that, it’s a neutral site date with #6 Illinois as a part of the same event.
Northern Iowa is the other receiving votes team on the docket, and that match will be in Milwaukee on Saturday, September 21st. It’ll be the third and final match of the weekend for the Golden Eagles as a part of the Marquette Invitational that they’re hosting. The Panthers picked up 13 points in the poll to be sitting at #33, at least in an unofficial manner.
You can check out the full preseason top 25 right here.