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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

GROSS: Is Marquette on its way to a second straight Big East Championship?

Photo by Alex DeBuhr
Marquette volleyball in its 3-0 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sept. 11.

Heading into the 2022 season, there were a lot of unknowns swirling around the Marquette women’s volleyball team.

How would the team replace the production from Taylor Wolf, Savannah Rennie and Hope Werch?

How would such a young roster with seven new players, including five firstyear players, gel together early enough in the year to be competitive?

Will this team be good?

All three of those questions have been answered already, but the last two were answered in game one of the season when the Golden Eagles took down then-No. 11 Kentucky on the road.

Junior outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton was brought in to fill some of the void left by Wolf. The Heartland, Wisconsin native ended her Marquette debut against Kentucky with 18 kills, seven digs and two blocks.

Prior to the match against the Wildcats, Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said Hamilton brings a unique set of skills that he has not seen in his nine seasons.

“I don’t know if we’ve had a physical left side blocker like her,” Theis said.

Following their take down of the 2021 national champion, Marquette had an opportunity to take down another national champion against in-state rival then-No. 6 Wisconsin.

Though Marquette would go on to lose the match 3-1, they arguably had a chance to take a 2-1 lead in set three as the Golden Eagles led by eight points down the stretch over the Badgers. But Wisconsin proved why they won a national championship last season as they stormed back to take the third and then fourth sets.

Marquette put the defending champions on the ropes, and that should scare even the likes of Creighton, who the Golden Eagles have only beaten once in the past two seasons.

There is a lot of talent on this team.

Whether it be offensives Jenna Reitsma and Carsen Murray or defensive Carly Skrabak. Skrabak is making a case for Big East Defensive Player of the Year, as she currently is fourth in the Big East in digs per set at 4.70.

However, it hasn’t just been the returning players who are having a big impact on this team.

The new and young players like Hamilton, setters Yadhira Anchante and Ella Foti, middle blocker Hattie Bray and outside hitter Ella Holmstrom, who just racked up 17 kills in her fifth collegiate game.

The thing that makes this Marquette team a dangerous one is its depth. Nine players have already played 26 sets or more of the 27 total sets the Golden Eagles have played up to this point.

Beyond the depth, there is plenty more to like about this Marquette team, and Theis has a front row seat to it.

“I like the depth, the intensity that they bring, the speed and pace that they play at and so I think we’ll stress some people out,” Theis said.

Beyond the recognition within the program, the national polls are recognizing it too.

After being ranked unofficially at 37 in the preseason, Marquette has continued to shoot up the AVCA coaches poll week-by-week to where now they are ranked at No. 19 in the country, just two spots behind their conference rival Creighton.

Marquette has the talent and coaching staff to not only make another run at the Big East regular season title, but a tournament title as well.

This article was written by Jackson Gross. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JacksonGrossMU.

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