Volleyball, Men’s Soccer Opponents breakdown

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Marquette Women’s Volleyball opponents

Middle Tennessee State

Coming off a 2010 Sun Belt conference championship, the Blue Raiders (2-5) are led on offense by Ashley Adams, a junior All-American outside hitter. Adams, who has already tallied 118 kills this season, combines with seniors Maria Szvois and Oyinlola Oladinni to create the main attacking options for setter Angela Peyton.

Marquette will try to attack their front row, which has experienced problems getting blocks on front row attackers. Bailing them out has been junior defensive specialist Brynne Henderson, coming off a career-high 22 digs in her last match.

The Blue Raiders are coming off a three game losing streak, falling consecutively to Illinois, Tulsa and Cal Poly in the Middle Tennessee Invitational.

Minnesota

The 6th ranked Golden Gophers (5-2) travel to Milwaukee fresh off the Northern Iowa tournament, where they were crowned champions and defeated the 14th ranked hosts, the Northern Iowa Panthers. The Panthers defeated Marquette earlier in the year.

The Gophers are led in kills by sophomore outside hitter Ashley Wittman, who averages over 4.5 kills per set.  Talented and young, the women represent another rising Big Ten powerhouse in the women’s game.  Sophomore middle blocker Tori Dixon and redshirt senior outside hitter Hailey Cowles provide the other offensive options for the team.

The Gophers have already experienced a fair amount of adversity this season, losing to unranked Kansas at the UNI tournament.  They have recovered nicely, beating two ranked opponents in the last two meetings.

MENS SOCCER

Michigan State

The Spartans (1-4) come into Marquette reeling, losing consecutive games to Marshall and Georgetown.  The team is facing a new look after losing eight players from a team that made the last year’s NCAA Sweet 16.

They began the season ranked 19th in the coaches’ poll, however, growing pains have provided offensive struggles for the perennial Big Ten giants. Still, three players have showed early signs of success and were named to the Big Ten’s players to watch: seniors forward Rubin Bega and midfielder Cyrus Saydee and a returning All-Big Ten selection, junior defender Kevin Cope.

With a strong backline and reliable midfield play, Marquette cannot let the Spartans forwards get too many shots on goal.

Michigan

Another Big Ten opponent, the Michigan Wolverines (1-4) will host Marquette in a battle of two teams looking to create winning traditions this season.

It begins with freshman goalkeeper Adam Grinwis, who has showed recent promise between the posts.  The men were ranked fourth in the preseason Big Ten polls, but have faced a tough schedule to open the season.

The team leader in goals, Brazilian sophomore midfielder Fabio Villas Boas Pereira, scores at a striking rate when in close range with the goal.  The team will look to find him in advanced positions. He, along with three other Wolverines, leads a group of looking to make an impact.

Senior midfielder Adam Shaw, junior midfielder Latif Alashe, and Grinwis also made the Big Ten’s watch list.

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