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Marquette Volleyball Picked To Win Big East In Preseason Poll

Plus! A full one-third of the preseason all-conference team is Golden Eagles!

Hattie Bray
Hattie Bray is one of four Golden Eagles on the preseason All-Big East team.
Marquette University

The good news kept on coming in for Marquette volleyball this week. On Wednesday, one day after the AVCA preseason poll installed the Golden Eagles as the #12 team in the country, the Big East released the results of the preseason poll of the league’s coaches. As was forecasted by the AVCA top 25, Marquette is the preseason pick to win the Big East after splitting each of the past two regular season championships with Creighton.

As could be expected, the Big East coaches — who could not vote for their own teams — are somewhat split between the two teams that have shared the last two regular season titles. Marquette secured six of the first place votes from neutral parties in addition to the vote from Creighton’s Kirsten Bernthal Booth, while MU head coach Ryan Theis found his vote for Creighton siding with three other coaches in the league. All of this left Marquette with 97 points in the polling, just three points ahead of Creighton in second place with 94 points. Some quick math helps us figure out that everyone in the league has Marquette and Creighton 1-2 in one order or the other, which really should not be a surprise if you’ve been following Big East volleyball long enough.

It appears that Xavier is holding down the next tier by themselves at 78 points. St. John’s, Connecticut, and DePaul all fell within five points of each other, so that’s Tier Three in the Big East. Villanova and Butler are the next tier down as we start to move into teams that are not projected to make the six team Big East tournament on Thanksgiving week, and we could probably keep Seton Hall with that group. They’re just about as close to 7th place Villanova as they are to 10th place Providence, which is just two points ahead of last place Georgetown.

Continuing the good news for Marquette, the Golden Eagles put four women on the preseason all-Big East team. Two of them are unanimous choices for the squad, with setter Yadhira Anchante and middle blocker Carsen Murray earning universal acclaim from the league’s coaches.

Here’s what the Marquette press release has to say about Anchante:

Anchante was the BIG EAST Setter of the Year in her first season in NCAA Division I and led a Golden Eagles offense that ranked among the top nationally in 2022. Marquette paced the BIG EAST in hitting percentage, kills and aces, while ranking second in assists per set. The native of Lima, Peru averaged 10.78 assists per set to rank 22nd in the country.

And here’s the quotes for Murray:

Murray, also an all-league and all-region player, rose to as high as third nationally last season in hitting percentage and led the Golden Eagles with a conference-leading mark of .416. She also led the league in total blocks (121) and was second in blocks per set with 1.08 per frame. Murray was MU’s lone selection to last season’s BIG EAST Preseason Team.

In addition to those two, Marquette also had outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton and middle blocker Hattie Bray make it onto the 12 woman all-conference team. Here’s MU’s write up on Hamilton:

Hamilton was selected to the All-BIG EAST Championship Team in addition to All-BIG EAST mention during her first season in Milwaukee. The Hartland, Wisconsin native was an AVCA All-Region performer who led Marquette in both kills (3.45 per set) and points (4.00), while hitting .247 on 1,018 swings.

And finally, the notes on Bray:

Bray was an all-conference selection in 2022 as a redshirt freshman, while also earning recognition on the league’s all-tournament team and the NCAA All-Austin Region Team. She played in all 33 matches and recorded 2.16 kills and 0.73 blocks per set while hitting .354 on 508 total attempts.

I went a perfect 7-for-7 on my preseason all-Big East team picks, but that’s the kind of thing that you can do when you pick seven women and the league hands out honors to 12 women. I also correctly predicted that Creighton’s Norah Sis would be the Preseason Player of the Year, but that wasn’t a hard pick. She was Preseason and Postseason Player of the Year in the Big East, and Sis returns for the 2023 campaign, why wouldn’t/shouldn’t she get the honor to start this year?

Before the season gets started, Marquette will host an open scrimmage/practice on Sunday, August 20th, starting at 1pm. The 2023 campaign kicks off at 10am Central time on Friday, August 25th, when Marquette heads down to Dayton to face #24 Western Kentucky. The Golden Eagles will also tangle with Drake that afternoon, with first serve scheduled for 4pm.