Courtesy: Big East Conference
NEW YORK – All BIG EAST volleyball teams have made it to the halfway point of the conference season, except Creighton and Providence who will play their ninth league match Thursday. Creighton leads the way on an eight-match unbeaten streak and still undefeated in conference play. The Bluejays remain 10th in the AVCA Coaches Poll for a sixth straight week, beginning with the poll released on Sept. 10.
Marquette continues to slide up the poll, improving to No. 18 nationally, which is the highest ranking in program history for the Golden Eagles. Marquette, which has swept its last seven opponents, sits just behind Creighton in the BIG EAST standings at 8-1. Georgetown has sole possession of third place in the conference with a record of 6-3, and St. John’s is alone in fourth at 5-4.
Matches begin on Thursday with Butler (6-15, 3-6 BIG EAST) traveling to Providence (7-12, 1-7) starting at 6 p.m. ET. The Bulldogs are the conference leader in blocks per set with 3.11, and senior Bri Lilly leads the league in blocks at 1.63 per set. Friar sophomore Allison Barber is fourth in the conference in assists with 9.77 per set.
No. 10 Creighton (16-4, 8-0) hosts Xavier (6-14, 4-5) with the match beginning on Thursday at 8 p.m. The Bluejays lead the league in opponent hitting percentage at .163, while junior Madelyn Cole is the conference assists leader with 10.63 per set. Musketeer Audrey Adams’ hitting percentage of .421 is currently the best in the BIG EAST.
Georgetown (13-8, 6-3) will head to Seton Hall (7-15, 2-7) with a start time of 7 p.m. on Friday. Junior Iva Vujosevic is second in the league in service aces per set at 0.47 and has collected a total of 14 for the Hoyas. The Pirates have the conference’s fourth-best hitting percentage at .211.
Also at 7 p.m. on Friday, Villanova (11-10, 4-5) will take on St. John’s (16-8, 5-4) in Queens, N.Y. The Wildcats are the BIG EAST’s top team in digs with 17.38 per set with junior Regan Lough leading all players at 5.65 digs per set. Just behind her in second is Red Storm junior Amanda Sanabia with 5.55 digs per set.
No. 18 Marquette (17-4, 8-1) will host DePaul (5-15, 3-6) at 8 p.m. on Friday. The Golden Eagles currently lead the BIG EAST in four categories: assists per set (14.19), hitting percentage (.316), kills per set (15.56) and service aces per set (2.04). Marquette junior Allie Barber tops the league in both kills per set with 4.89 and points per set at 5.02, while sophomore Martha Konovodoff is tops in service aces per set with 0.48. Blue Demon sophomore Isabelle Banez is third in the conference in digs per set, averaging 5.46.
Four matches highlight the Saturday slate, beginning with Xavier squaring off against Providence in the afternoon at 1 p.m. Later in the day, St. John’s welcomes Georgetown at 5 p.m. for a battle between the third and fourth-place teams in the league. Butler heads out to Omaha to take on No. 10 Creighton at 6 p.m., and Villanova makes the short trip to Seton Hall at 7 p.m.
No. 18 Marquette visits Northern Iowa, which is receiving votes in the latest AVCA poll, for a non-conference match-up on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 18
BUTLER at PROVIDENCE at 6 p.m.
XAVIER at No. 10 CREIGHTON at 8 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 19
GEORGETOWN at SETON HALL at 7 p.m.
VILLANOVA at ST. JOHN’S at 7 p.m.
DEPAUL at No. 18 MARQUETTE at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20
XAVIER at PROVIDENCE at 1 p.m.
GEORGETOWN at ST. JOHN’S at 5 p.m.
BUTLER at No. 10 CREIGHTON at 6 p.m.
VILLANOVA at SETON HALL at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 21
No. 18 MARQUETTE at Northern Iowa at 3 p.m.
All times are Eastern.