May 25, 2016
MILWAUKEE--Marquette University volleyball head coach Ryan Theis has announced the schedule for the 2016 season, which includes 12 home matches at the Al McGuire Center and eight teams that played in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
"We are very excited for this highly competitive schedule," Theis said. "I think it is a great mix of conference champions and 20-game winners. Wins will be tough to get and we are going to have to earn them all season long."
Much like they opened last season, the Golden Eagles will spend their first three weekends on the road and will open the fall campaign in sunny California at a tournament hosted by USC Aug. 26-27. The Trojans were a No. 1 seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament and finished the season with a 33-3 record after falling to Kansas in the regional championship. While out West, Marquette will also take on UC-Irvine and Santa Clara, who was also a tournament team a season ago.
The Golden Eagles will compete in a tournament hosted by 2015 NCAA Tournament squad Wichita State Sept. 2-3 and will also play Cincinnati and IUPUI in Kansas. This will be the second straight year that MU faces the Jaguars after IUPUI played in the 2015 Marquette Invitational with the Golden Eagles earning a 3-1 victory.
Marquette will travel to Lexington, Kentucky the following weekend and will face Saint Louis, Virginia and the host Wildcats Sept. 9-10. Kentucky fell in the NCAA first round in a 3-0 decision to American last season.
The Golden Eagles make their home debut hosting the annual Marquette Invitational Friday, Sept. 16- Saturday, Sept. 17 and will welcome Iowa State, Milwaukee and Missouri State to the Al. All three are repeat opponents for MU from last season and represented victories for the Golden Eagles in 2015, while the Cyclones and Bears each earned berths to the NCAA Tournament.
The 2016 BIG EAST campaign will begin at reigning regular season and tournament champion Creighton on Friday, Sept. 23. The Blue Jays were seeded No. 16 in last season's NCAA Tournament and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. Following a stop in Omaha, the Golden Eagles travel east to finish the weekend at Providence.
MU returns to Milwaukee for three straight home contests including Georgetown (Sept. 30), Villanova (Oct. 1) and a noon contest against Xavier on Wednesday, Oct. 5, which will be MPS Day at the Al.
Marquette will play at St. John's and Seton Hall on Oct. 7 and Oct. 8, respectively, before returning home for a mid-week tilt against Butler on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. Central time.
The Golden Eagles travel to DePaul on Saturday, Oct. 15 and will host Providence and Creighton on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22 before traveling to Villanova and Georgetown the following weekend.
Three consecutive home matches will wrap up the home campaign for the Golden Eagles beginning with DePaul on Saturday, Nov. 5 before taking on Seton Hall one week later on Nov. 12. The final home game of the season will be on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. CT hosting St. John's, which will also serve as senior day for the squad.
MU wraps up regular season play at Butler (Nov. 18) and Xavier (Nov. 19).
The 2016 BIG EAST Volleyball Tournament will be hosted by Butler at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana on Friday Nov. 25-Saturday, Nov. 26.
The Golden Eagles return 11 players from last year's squad that earned a fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and advanced to the second round for the third time in program history. MU will welcome four newcomers to the team, including three freshmen and one junior college transfer.