February 4, 2023

Second round

#4 Marquette Golden Eagles (28-3, 17-1 Big East) vs. #5 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (21-7, 13-5 ACC)

Date: Friday 2nd December 2022
Time: 6 p.m. central
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Stream: ESPN+
Live Stats: NCAA.com because the NCAA is very weird about letting you see stats like a normal person for the tournament, but I bet a smart person could wander around this site and find a better link if they know where to look have to.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

All time series: This is the very first meeting.

Marquette remains unbeaten in NCAA tournament games in Milwaukee.

The Golden Eagles beat High Point and Cincinnati in 2018 to make the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history, in part because they won the right to play the first two rounds at home that year. They repeated that part again this year, taking their record at the NCAA tournament at the McGuire Center to 3-0 after a 3-0 win over Ball State on Thursday night. With that in the rear window, Carsen Murray and the Golden Eagles will be looking to set their flawless NCAA record 4-0 at home to Georgia Tech on Friday night.

Georgia Tech arrived in Milwaukee after a 20-7 regular season as the ACC does not play a conference tournament. They’ve had a bit of shaky proximity to the slate, losing three of their last five contests…but they were 1) on the road against a Miami team that made the NCAA tournament, 2) at home against then-No. 5 Louisville, and 3 ) at then #7 Pitt. We will allow it. GT started Selection Sunday as the No. 3 RPI team in the ACC, behind only top 3 rosters Louisville and Pitt. The Yellow Jackets were No. 20 on the RPI, bolstered by playing six contests against top-25 teams…but they lost all six. As you can see, they went 20-1 against the rest of their schedule, with the loss to #35 Miami at Coral Gables as their only other slip.

On Thursday night, they defeated Wright State in straight sets, 25-13, 25-14 and 25-17. Erin Moss led the Yellow Jackets with 12 kills, which is pretty good for a three-set match, and Julia Bergmann also got into double figures with 10. As you might have guessed from the set results, Georgia Tech beat the Raiders, beating them .252 – including a very stupid .733 from Moss – to just .061. They provoked WSU to 21 attacking errors on just eight total blocks, but you have to imagine the eight actual things for points did a pretty good job and caused a lot of the other 13.

It turns out to be a bit of a surprise that Moss was the night’s leader as Bergmann is averaging 5.25 kills per set this season. That’s more than three kills behind Moss’ second-best team season average of 2.19, and it’s just a little short of the 5.31 that made her the No. 3 attacker in the country through Nov. 26. As you’d expect, GT’s offense veers wildly and heavily in Bergmann’s direction to the point where Moss is the only player on the roster who has more kills (219) than Bergmann has errors (205). It’s not even error prone as it hits .254! It’s just that 37% of all swings in the Yellow Jackets season were taken by Bergmann.

Road to Victory: Don’t let them get to 10 kills.

Isabella D’Amico is the setter and has averaged 10.17 assists per frame this season. Georgia Tech’s defense is a bit off committee as libero Paola Pimentel leads in digs at just 3.67 a set. There are two teammates – including Bergmann! – which average more than two per frame and two more located north of a dig per set. Moss and Breland Morrissette form an impressive pair at net, with both women averaging more than a block per set on Friday night this season.

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