Marquette volleyball will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament

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Photo by Alex DeBuhr

Marquette volleyball earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Golden Eagles will take on Ball State Thursday Dec. 1 at the Al McGuire Center.

The NCAA Volleyball Tournament is coming back to Milwaukee.

On Sunday night during the 2022 selection show the No. 14 Marquette volleyball team was awarded a No. 4 seed and will host the first and second rounds for the first time since 2018.

“We hope for a great environment. It’s a short turnaround for our fan base, saying ‘hey Thursday, everybody come to a game.’ I’ll have to have my wife probably pull kids from multiple youth sporting events to get them to come,” head coach Ryan Theis said.

Marquette is in the Texas quarter of the bracket. The Golden Eagles will play Ball State Dec. 1 in the first round at 7 p.m. CST and then the winner will play the winner of No. 5 seed Georgia Tech versus Wright State.

“It’s one of those things, like when you play conference teams you kind of know a little bit about them,” junior middle blocker Carsen Murray said. “With Ball State, we don’t know anything about them so it’s just a fresh, clean look. It’s just all about us playing our game and stepping up to the challenge of playing a new team.”

Junior outside hitter and a member of the All-Big East team Aubrey Hamilton said she is excited to play inside the Al McGuire Center in front of the Marquette faithful.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Hamilton said. “Having people on our side and being in our home atmosphere and just everyone cheering us on.”

The Golden Eagles are going into the NCAA Tournament with a 27-3 overall and as Big East Regular Season Champions.

Marquette played six teams who made the NCAA Tournament, with those being Wisconsin (No. 1 seed), Kentucky (No. 3 seed), Creighton (No. 4 seed), Loyola Chicago, LSU and High Point. In those matches Marquette went 5-3 with a loss to Wisconsin and two to Creighton.

“Those big matches help prepare you,” Theis said.

Last season Marquette lost its opening match of the NCAA Tournament to Dayton. Murray said the Golden Eagles are looking to bring “urgency” into this year’s tournament.

“Last year we got a lot of seniors and this year we still have a lot of seniors and I think the biggest thing is just playing for them and not giving up and not quitting even when we’re down,” Murray said. “Last year we went down two sets, took the third and we’re going to need that mentality coming in.”

This article was written by Ben Schultz. He can be reached at b[email protected] Twitter @benschultz52.