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The student news site of Marquette University

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Marquette Wire

PREVIEW: Marquette faces Eastern Illinois in First Round of NCAA Tournament

Samantha+Naber+and+Molly+Berezowitz+celebrate+a+point+in+Marquettes+3-1+loss+to+Wisconsin+Sept.+13+at+Fiserv+Forum.
Photo by Keifer Russell
Samantha Naber and Molly Berezowitz celebrate a point in Marquette’s 3-1 loss to Wisconsin Sept. 13 at Fiserv Forum.

The road to Tampa begins tomorrow for No. 6 seed Marquette volleyball at Holloway Arena.

The Golden Eagles are taking their squad and Big East regular season title to West Lafayette for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They will face off against the Eastern Illinois Panthers Thursday at 3:30 p.m. CST.

“Would love to make a run,” Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. “And if we can knock off one team, if we can knock off two, how many can we keep going, right? So that’s always the goal, to achieve more than any Marquette team ever has before you and this year is no different.”

Last season, Marquette made a historic run to the Sweet 16 for the second time in program history, before falling to No 1. seed Texas.

A Look At Eastern Illinois

The Panthers come into the tournament fresh off winning the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, and have won their last six matches.

They are 28-4 on the season, which is their highest amount of wins since 1982 and won their first outright Ohio Valley Conference title since 1998. They also lead the OVC in all offensive categories.

This is Eastern Illinois’ first NCAA appearance since 2001, when Theis was the Panthers’ assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.

Key Players

  • OVC Player of the Year Giovana Larregui López. The senior outside hitter led the OVC in points, kills, service aces and aces per set. She earned an overall 420 kills on a .315 hitting percentage, as well as 277 digs.
  • OVC Setter of the Year Catalina Rochaix leads the conference with 1,136 assists and 10.92 assists per set, which guided the Panthers to an OVC-winning .277 team hitting percentage. She earned 40 assists in 14 matches and a career-high 64 assists against SIUE Nov. 11.
  • Senior outside hitter Aubrey Hamilton was Marquette’s only unanimous All-Big East Team honoree. The Hartland, Wisconsin native leads the Golden Eagles with 403 kills, which is second in the Big East.
  • Another key hitter is junior Jenna Reitsma. Reitsma has been on an impressive run for the Golden Eagles, averaging 3.62 kills per set in Marquette’s last four regular season matches. She also leads the Golden Eagles with 47 service aces on the season.

How to Follow

  • All matches streaming on ESPN+
  • Twitter/X Updates: @JackAlbrightMU and @MUWireSports

This story was written by Sofie Hanrahan. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @SofieHanrahanMU.

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About the Contributors
Sofie Hanrahan, Sports Reporter
Sofie Hanrahan is a first-year from Naperville, Illinois joining the Wire as a sports reporter for the 2023-2024 school year. She is studying digital media and film and media studies. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys watching soccer and movies. Sofie is looking forward to developing her writing skills and making connections in the sports community.
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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