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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Volleyball hosts 2023 Big East Tournament

Marquette+earns+the+the+No.+2+seed+in+the+Big+East+Tournament%2C+which+means+the+golden+Eagles+secure+a+first-round+bye.+%28Graphic+via+Big+East+Conference%29.
Marquette earns the the No. 2 seed in the Big East Tournament, which means the golden Eagles secure a first-round bye. (Graphic via Big East Conference).

On Wednesday at 4 p.m. CST, the 2023 Big East Volleyball Tournament will commence inside the Al McGuire Center on Marquette’s campus.

“We always enjoy the home environment,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “Thrilled to have the band and cheer available this year for a home tournament and just really comfortable here in our building, in our stuff.”

As the No. 2 seed, Marquette is looking to win the tournament for the second time in program history and first time under Theis.

“We really want to do something that we’ve never done before and have a good step into the conference tournament and hopefully take that one as well,” junior outside hitter Jenna Reitsma said.

Schedule

First Round — Nov. 22 on Big East Digital Network on FloSports

  • No. 3 St. John’s vs. No. 6 Villanova at 3 p.m. CST.
  • No. 4 Xavier vs. No. 5 DePaul at 5:30 p.m. CST.

Semifinals — Nov. 24 on Big East Digital Network on FloSports

  • No. 1 Creighton vs. 3/6 or 4/5 winner at 3 p.m. CST.
  • No. 2 Marquette vs. 3/6 or 4/5 winner at 12:30 p.m. CST.

Championship — Nov. 26 on FS2

  • Winner of both semifinal matches at 1 p.m. CST.

No. 1 seed Creighton (25-4, 16-2 Big East)

Creighton comes into the tournament as the No. 17 ranked team in the country. The Bluejays are co-Big East regular season champions for the 10th time in a row and sit on a 13-game winning streak, with their last loss coming against the Golden Eagles Oct. 6. In conference play, Creighton is first in the Big East in four different categories: kills per set (14.46), assists per set (13.30), digs per set (16.39) and hitting percentage (.283).

The Bluejays have won eight of the last nine Big East Tournaments.

Key players:

  • Junior outside hitter Norah Sis was named the Big East Preseason Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Despite missing nearly a month with an abdominal injury, Sis has averaged 3.79 kills per set on a .258 hitting percentage and remains the Bluejays’ most threatening attacker.
  • Senior middle blocker Kiana Schmitt leads the Big East in hitting percentage (.383). She leads Creighton with 1.07 blocks per set and is the most dangerous presence in the Bluejays’ frontcourt.

No. 2 seed Marquette (20-9, 16-2 Big East)

Marquette was projected to win the Big East in the conference preseason poll, and came away with its third consecutive co-Big East regular season title. The Golden Eagles finished undefeated at home in Big East play, only losing on the road to Creighton and St. John’s. They lead the Big East in service aces per set (1.75), rank second in hitting percentage (.282) and third in blocks (2.11) and digs (15.83) per set.

Key players:

  • Senior outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton has been Marquette’s most reliable hitter, earning double-digit kills 21 times this year. She ranks third in the Big East with an average of 3.72 kills per set and 4.32 points per set in conference play.
  • Junior setter Yadhira Anchante is back in the Golden Eagles’ starting lineup after missing five games with appendicitis. The Lima, Peru native is fifth in the Big East in assists per set in conference play (9.45) and leads Marquette with 822 assists on the year.

Junior primary right-side Ella Foti did not dress for the Golden Eagles’ regular season finale and her availability is unknown at this time. Per Marquette head coach Ryan Theis, Foti went to the doctor Monday, Nov. 20.

No. 3 seed St. John’s (21-9, 13-5 Big East)

The Red Storm lost three of their last four Big East games after going 12-2 to start conference play. St. John’s finished second in assists per set (12.24) and is tied for third in kills per set (13.02) across Big East matches.

Key players:

  • Sophomore setter/right side Erin Jones is a dual threat for St. John’s. She earned the Red Storm’s first triple-double in over a decade with 22 kills, 14 assists and 17 digs in their win over the Golden Eagles Oct. 14. She is fifth in the Big East in kills per set in conference play with 3.60.
  • Junior setter Wiktoria Kowalczyk stands at 6-foot-4 and leads St. John’s with 956 assists and 41 service aces on the year.

No. 4 seed Xavier (18-11, 11-7 Big East)

The Musketeers earned a 3-2 upset win over Creighton Sept. 23, but lost to the Bluejays in their final match of the regular season. Xavier is third in the Big East in kills per set (13.02) and averages digs (15.66) per set, which ranks fourth in the conference.

Key players:

  • Senior Stevie Wolf is the Musketeers’ starting libero. She is averaging 4.28 digs per set, which ranks third in the Big East.
  • Graduate student setter/right side Carrigan O’Reilly made the Preseason All-Big East Team and is Xavier’s primary setter. She leads the Musketeers with 889 assists and is second in digs with 250.

No. 5 seed DePaul (16-13, 9-9 Big East)

The Blue Demons were able to secure the No. 5 seed in the tournament after beating the Seton Hall Pirates in the final weekend of the regular season. They average 16.27 digs per set in Big East play, which ranks second in the conference, and leads the conference with an average of 2.30 blocks per set.

 Key players:

  • Senior outside hitter Jill Pressly is DePaul’s most effective hitter. She leads the Big East in kills per set (4.42) and points per set (4.94) in conference play. She has hit double-digit kills in 23 of the Blue Demons’ last 24 matches.
  • Senior Rachel Krasowski is DePaul’s starting libero. She leads the Blue Demons with 487 digs and averages a conference-most 5.08 digs per set.

No. 6 seed Villanova (17-13, 8-10 Big East)

The Wildcats did not have a seed in the tournament until the final weekend of the season. They beat the Providence Friars before losing to the UConn Huskies, but they still secured the final tournament seed. Villanova sits third in the Big East in hitting percentage (.223) and service aces per set (1.59).

 Key players:

  • Senior middle blocker Kiera Booth leads Villanova with 80 blocks and sits in second on the team with 302 kills. The 6-foot-2 middle blocker has a .331 hitting percentage, which ranks fifth in the Big East.
  • Setter Andrea Campos has been Villanova’s go-to setter all season, being the only Wildcat with over 100 assists. The 5-foot-8 setter has 1,137 assists on the year and ranks third in the Big East with 9.89 assists per set.

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached [email protected] or on Twitter @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributor
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.

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