It’s June, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about the 2021-22 Marquette athletic calendar. Even if you think it is, TOO BAD, because Marquette dropped the 2021 fall schedule for women’s volleyball on Monday afternoon.
As expected, it’s kind of bonkers.
Four of Marquette’s 11 non-conference matches will be against teams that qualified for the spring 2021 NCAA tournament, and when you consider the fact that it was not a 64 team tournament as is the standard, that’s an awful lot. Even if you think it’s not a lot, head coach Ryan Theis is making up for quantity with quality. Marquette’s home opener this coming fall will be on Saturday, September 11th, and it will be against.... wait for it...... reigning and defending national champion Kentucky.
It gets more fun from there, as 22 hours later, Marquette will host Wisconsin, fresh off of a trip to the Final Four this past spring. Two matches, two days, two teams that reached the Final Four last season. Yep, that’s how Ryan Theis rolls.
Marquette’s other two non-conference contests will come against Illinois State and Wright State. MU will face ISU on the Redbirds’ home floor on Sunday, September 5, as part of a tournament that they are hosting. The WSU match will come on Friday, September 17th, as part of a tournament that Marquette is hosting. That tourney will also bring UT-San Antonio and Northern Iowa to the McGuire Center. UNI is a pretty notable name, as the Panthers are a regular NCAA tournament contender when the field is at its normal 64 team size.
The same can be said for Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, who will play host to Marquette in the first event of the non-conference slate. MU will also see Texas A&M and Fairfield out in Honolulu.
Big East play kicks off on Friday, September 24th with a road trip to Villanova. The league has abandoned the divisional play that they went with in the spring season, but Marquette will not play a full 20 game round robin for whatever reason. The Big East is going with an 18 game conference schedule, and they appear to mostly be sticking with the old travel partner system from seasons past. Connecticut is just thrown into the mix paired with Marquette’s games against travel partner DePaul for whatever reason. The two matches “missing” from the full 20 game round robin for MU are home dates against Butler and Xavier. MU’s only meeting against the Musketeers and the Bulldogs will come on the road on November 13 and 14 respectively. In addition to only playing 18 Big East games, MU will only play eight of those at home and 10 will come on the road. From the quotes that are attributed to Ryan Theis in the press release, it sounds like this will flip around the other way next year and then go back and forth from there.
I do wonder if Marquette and Creighton lobbied to not play a 20 game schedule as it would absorb a weekend of potential non-conference action off their calendars. As we’ve talked about time and time again on these pages, MU and CU are the two most dedicated volleyball programs in the Big East. I could definitely see how Theis and Creighton head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth successfully argued that they need to be able to schedule up as hard as possible to balance out the, uh, not so very good parts of the Big East schedule.
Speaking of the Bluejays, MU’s first meeting with them will come in Omaha on Sunday, October 10th. The return bout will be in Milwaukee on Friday, October 29th.
Senior Day comes on Saturday, November 20th, as MU wraps up the regular season as well as their home schedule by hosting Villanova. Yes, that’s the very same team they started Big East play against back in late September. Neat, huh? Marquette has four graduate students or redshirt seniors on the roster for this coming fall along with three redshirt juniors who could end up wrapping up their collegiate careers this fall. In short, it could be a very busy Senior Day, depending on who makes what choices down the line.
Here’s the full schedule, so get crazy with your calendar to block out all the important dates as soon as you can. Home matches are in bold, and all times are Central.
Marquette Volleyball Fall 2021 Schedule
|Fri., Aug. 27||vs Texas A&M (in Honolulu)||7:45 PM|
|Sat., Aug. 28||at Hawaii||10:00 PM|
|Sun., Aug. 29||vs Fairfield (in Honolulu)||5:45 PM|
|Fri., Sept. 3||vs UIC (in Normal, IL)||7:00 PM|
|Sat., Sept. 4||vs Ohio (in Normal, IL)||1:00 PM|
|Sun., Sept. 5||at Illinois State||1:00 PM|
|Sat., Sept. 11||Kentucky||6:00 PM|
|Sun., Sept. 12||Wisconsin||4:00 PM|
|Fri., Sept. 17||UT-San Antonio||12:00 PM|
|Fri., Sept. 17||Wright State||7:30 PM|
|Sat., Sept. 18||Northern Iowa||6:00 PM|
|Fri., Sept. 24||at Villanova||6:00 PM|
|Sat., Sept. 25||at Georgetown||4:00 PM|
|Fri., Oct. 1||Connecticut||7:00 PM|
|Sun., Oct. 3||at DePaul||3:00 PM|
|Fri., Oct. 8||at Providence||5:00 PM|
|Sun., Oct. 10||at Creighton||1:00 PM|
|Fri., Oct. 15||St. John's||7:00 PM|
|Sat., Oct. 16||Seton Hall||6:00 PM|
|Wed., Oct. 20||DePaul||12:00 PM|
|Sat., Oct. 23||at Connecticut||3:00 PM|
|Fri., Oct. 29||Creighton||7:00 PM|
|Sat., Oct. 30||Providence||1:00 PM|
|Fri., Nov. 5||at Seton Hall||5:00 PM|
|Sat., Nov. 6||at St. John's||3:00 PM|
|Sat., Nov. 13||at Xavier||3:00 PM|
|Sun., Nov. 14||at Butler||1:00 PM|
|Fri., Nov. 19||Georgetown||7:00 PM|
|Sat., Nov. 20||Villanova||6:00 PM|