Volleyball: Marquette vs. Creighton, Friday, Oct. 25, 6:00 p.m., Al McGuire Center
Here we go again. Rivalries certainly don’t litter the new Big East after the realignment, but if there’s one clear conference feud in volleyball, it’s between Marquette and Creighton. The Blue Jays own the series lately, knocking Marquette out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament last fall and sweeping the Golden Eagles in Omaha just two weekends ago. Marquette will be raring to go out and avenge both difficult defeats.
Creighton setter Michelle Sicner wreaked havoc on Marquette in the game two weeks ago. Sicner created confusion with her offensive abilities, racking up a team-high 12 kills. Marquette’s net defense will play a major role in its success, which means redshirt freshman middle hitter Meghan Niemann and senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein will need to position themselves correctly.
On offense, Creighton middle blocker Kelli Browning will cause problems for Marquette. She leads the Blue Jays with a whopping 1.41 blocks per set. Marquette will need to position freshman outside hitters Autumn Bailey and Nele Barber in places to avoid Browning’s vicious block. The health of junior right side hitter Lindsey Gosh could play a major role. Gosh missed the team’s match against DePaul Saturday with a foot injury and wore a boot as a precautionary measure this week.
Prediction: Marquette in five
Volleyball: Marquette vs. Villanova, Saturday, Oct. 26, 5:00 p.m., Al McGuire Center
After what is sure to be a brutal contest against Creighton, Marquette will turn around less than 24 hours later and face Villanova. The Wildcats are 11-9 this season and boast a 3-4 mark in the Big East. Marquette defeated Villanova in four sets Oct. 5 in Philadelphia. In that match, Bailey posted a double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Carpenter leads the Wildcats with 3.71 kills per set. Marquette will have to avoid an emotional hangover from what should be a taxing match the night before.
Prediction: Marquette in four
Men’s Soccer: Marquette vs. Georgetown, Saturday, Oct. 26, 7:05 p.m., Valley Fields
Men’s soccer faces Georgetown this weekend in the battle of the top teams in the Big East. Georgetown struggled to find wins in league play, tying Creighton, who Marquette defeated 1-0, and losing to Xavier, who Marquette also beat 1-0. Georgetown may not be on the right side of results lately, but should not be overlooked. The Hoyas’ offense is dangerous when in rhythm, so the defense will have to play its best in order to prevent the game from getting out of control. The Hoyas are Marquette’s toughest opponent of the season and the clash at the Valley will be one of the best games of the year.
Prediction: Marquette wins 2-1
Volleyball: Marquette vs. Georgetown, Sunday, Oct. 27, 1:00 p.m., Al McGuire Center
Georgetown is undoubtedly one of the bottom-feeders of Big East volleyball, sitting at 8-12 overall and 2-5 in the conference. If Marquette had to pick a team to play on 20 hours notice, the Hoyas would be near the top of the list. However, Georgetown is fully capable of pulling the upset, as evidenced by its 2-0 weekend two weeks ago at Seton Hall and St. John’s. Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Saar is Georgetown’s version of Autumn Bailey, averaging 3.14 kills and 3.43 digs per set. Marquette swept the Hoyas Oct. 4 in Washington and have a great opportunity to do so again Sunday.
Prediction: Marquette in three
Women’s Soccer: Marquette vs. Providence, Sunday, Oct. 27, 1:00 p.m., Valley Fields
Marquette can finish atop the Big East for the fifth straight season with a win against Providence Sunday. The Golden Eagles’ defense is rolling as of late, stringing together four consecutive shutouts while remaining unbeaten in the conference. Providence will not pose a serious threat to Marquette’s pursuit for first place. The Friars enter Sunday 5-8-3 overall and 2-3-1 on the road. The team tends to stick around in most of its matches and avoid blowouts; six of Providence’s eight losses were decided by one goal, including a 2-1 defeat to Big East elite Georgetown. Catherine Zimmerman paces the Friars’ scoring, tallying 14 points and earning three game-winning goals. The Golden Eagles have three players with 15 points or more and have a total of 14 different goal scorers, which should put pressure on Providence’s back line early and often.