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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette volleyball named No. 6 seed in NCAA Tournament, faces Eastern Illinois

Marquette volleyball celebrates its name being called as the No. 6 seed during a watch-party in the Union Sports Annex. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette volleyball is back in the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year.

On Sunday night during the 2023 selection show, the Golden Eagles were awarded the No. 6 seed in the tournament.

“It should be competitive and there’s been a lot of parity this year,” head coach Ryan Theis said. “A lot of huge crowds, a lot of big environments. I’m sure Purdue’s gym will be rockin throughout the course of the weekend. So we’ll hope for good play.”

Here is what you need to know:

  • Marquette is in the Wisconsin quarter of the bracket. The Golden Eagles will play Eastern Illinois in the first round and then the winner will play the winner of No. 3 seed Purdue versus Fairfield.
  • This is the third time in six years the Golden Eagles will be traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana in the tournament. The other two times were in 2019 and 2021.
  • Marquette is going into the tournament with a 20-10 overall record and as Big East regular season champions.
  • With the selection, Theis continues his streak of only one missed NCAA Tournament in his 10 years at the helm of the Golden Eagles.
  • Theis’ first-ever coaching job was at Eastern Illinois, where he was the top assistant and head recruiter for the Panthers. Eastern Illinois is also the school at which Theis got his master’s degree.

A gauntlet non-conference schedule helps team prepare

Marquette had a historically difficult non-conference schedule this season.

The Golden Eagles played nine teams who made the NCAA Tournament, including two No. 1 seeds (Wisconsin and Pitt) and a No. 2 seed (Oregon).

Marquette also faced Creighton (No. 3 seed) twice, Purdue, Tennessee (No. 3 seed), Kansas (No. 4 seed), Dayton and Western Kentucky. In those matches Marquette went 2-8 with wins over Creighton and Dayton.

“I’m proud of us for how we responded to all the adversity that we faced at the beginning of the year,” senior middle blocker Carsen Murray said. “Playing such tough competition has prepared us for this moment and so we’re all really excited that we get an opportunity to compete with some really good teams.”

The top four seeds in the Golden Eagles’ sector are all opponents they have played at some point this season.

“It just makes me confident to know that we can compete with those teams,” graduate student libero Sarah Kushner said. “We played Purdue before and we almost beat them. We’ve gotten a lot better, I’m sure they have too, but it makes us feel comfortable and confident that we can compete at that level.”

Looking ahead after Big East Tournament

Marquette comes into the NCAA tournament after fallingย 3-2 to St. John’s in the Big East Tournament semifinals Friday afternoon.

“Look back and learn from that game,” Murray said. “They were a really good team and, learn and take what we’ve learned and apply it to the next match we have.”

Last year, Marquette made it to the Sweet 16 for the second-ever time before losing 3-1 to eventual-national champions Texas. This year, theย Golden Eagles’ ceiling is raised even higher.

“We’re hoping to go farther,” Murray said. “Ryan always says, ‘What can we do that a Marquette team has never done before?’ And so making an elite eight appearance would be our goal for this postseason.”

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

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About the Contributor
Jack Albright
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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