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GOLDSTEIN: Volleyball is becoming can’t-miss entertainment

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Marquette volleyball has the second-most wins in the BIG EAST.

Marquette volleyball has the second-most wins in the BIG EAST.

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Photo by Brian Georgeson

Marquette volleyball has the second-most wins in the BIG EAST.

Hey, you know what you should totally do at some point in the next few months? You should watch some Marquette volleyball.

I can already hear the objections. We all have other stuff going on this weekend; I’m just not that into volleyball; I really don’t want to get off the couch right now.

Watch anyway.

You may not realize it, but volleyball is actually a great spectator sport. It’s fast-paced, action-packed and every single exchange ends in a point for one of the teams. Plus, most matches wrap up in about two hours, so going to one doesn’t mean you’re committing an entire evening to it.

Besides, if you think about it, volleyball is the perfect millennial sport. Are you paying rapt attention to every second of every game these days? Of course not. You’re probably like me, and regularly switch between looking at your phone and watching the game. Well, that’s how the action in volleyball is naturally broken up. You don’t have to be completely engrossed to enjoy the game.

If you’re going to try watching volleyball, the Marquette team would be a pretty good place to begin. The Golden Eagles are two spots away from the Top 25 and are off to their best start in over 30 years. If the Golden Eagles play up to expectations they’re going to make the NCAA Tournament for the seventh consecutive year. Remember how often you wished last year’s Marquette basketball team could just be better? Here’s a chance to see some athletes with “Marquette” on their jerseys that truly outclass roughly three-fourths of their opponents.

Perhaps you miss the vibe of a Marquette basketball game and want to get your fix before the season starts. The volleyball crowd is definitely not 12,000 fans in the Bradley Center, but it gets surprisingly loud in the Al. Plus, the pep band plays for every match and a few random “We Are Marquette” chants break out every now and again. For those of you who are waiting for the metaphorical entree of the basketball season, volleyball is a pretty darn good appetizer.

You only really need to know a few things about Marquette volleyball to get caught up. Watch out for where number 16 is on the court at all times; her name is Taylor Louis and she is incredibly good at spiking the ball. Pay attention to numbers 7 and 9 when they’re in the front row; the very tall one is Jenna Rosenthal (No. 9) and the shorter one is Meghan Niemann (No. 7). Marquette tends to win when they block a lot of shots. That should be enough to get you started.

If you are going to go to a Marquette volleyball match, I suggest this Saturday’s match against Villanova. Both teams made the NCAA Tournament last year. Oh, and if you’re a student, you can attend those matches for the low, low price of absolutely free.

I don’t mean to sound like a Marquette athletics infomercial. There are some Marquette athletic events that are justifiably skip-able for people who are lukewarm on the sport, given the current state of the team. Volleyball is not one of them. You should certainly go see a match at some point this year.

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