Marquette Tops DePaul 3-2 as Shymansky Wins 100th at MU

Freshman Nele Barber's emergence Saturday was crucial in the win.

Sept. 28, 2013

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CHICAGO – Bond Shymansky claimed his 100th victory as a head coach at Marquette University as the women’s volleyball team held on for a 3-2 victory at previously undefeated DePaul on Saturday evening at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

The Golden Eagles improve to 8-4 overall with the victory, which went in order, 26-28, 25-12, 25-18, 25-27, 15-9. They also pick up a win in their BIG EAST Conference opener for the third-straight season and move to 7-2 all-time in BIG EAST lid-lifters.

"Give our ladies credit," Shyamansky said. "I thought in the fifth set we really stepped it up and the passing was great, the serving was super strong, but the attacking ... Nele Barber did a great job for us just swinging hard and Lindsey Gosh found her groove there at the end. I thought we were swinging to win points and that was just clutch for us. A good week as that is two five-set wins in a row and our group is growing up and I see them responding in those tight moments in a great way.

Marquette was paced by career highs from their freshmen outside hitters as Autumn Bailey tallied 29 kills and Nele Barber 18 kills on the evening. The foreigners led the way, while redshirt freshman Meghan Niemann also added 14 kills and a match-high seven blocks.

Senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein led the Marquette offense to a season-best hitting percentage of .387, while contributing 69 assists, a personal-best mark at MU.

"It was tight for us the whole way through and we knew coming in that DePaul was good, 13-0, they are doing a lot of great things," Shymansky said. "I give their coaching staff a ton of credit for really turning this program around in just a few years and they were a grind, no doubt about it." 

The Blue Demons (13-1, 0-1 BIG EAST) were led by reigning-BIG EAST Player of the Week Abbie Fleener’s 19 kills, while junior outside hitter Vesela Zapryanova added 17 kills. Setter Colleen Smith pitched in 63 assists and 10 digs.

"Their setter did a great job of distributing the ball around and we had a really hard time stopping some of their players," Shymansky said. "Vesela Zapryanova really drives the bus for them and is a great competitor. We have a ton of respect for them and look forward to another great match when they come to our place in a few weeks. It’s so import to win on the road in conference play, but the tough part is playing each team twice so we will get this team a second time and it will be tough to beat them."

DePaul took the opening frame 28-26 after the Golden Eagles fought off set-point twice and failed to capitalize on a 25-24 set-point themselves. The Blue Demons led by as many as five points early in the set, 15-10, and were led by a game-high nine kills from Zapryanova.  

Marquette was able to come out on top 25-23 in another tightly-contested set in the second. The Golden Eagles hit .514 (20-2-35) in the frame and were led by seven kills from Bailey and six from Niemann. DePaul dug itself out of an early hole in the second and took a three-point lead at 17-14 following a Marquette timeout. MU tied the stanza at 20 on a controversial call, which ended in a blocking error on DePaul’s Randi Leath, before claiming the set to knot the match at the break.

MU cruised to a 25-18 victory in the third set while hitting .448 (14-1-29) as a team. The Golden Eagles jumped ahead 15-10, but the Blue Demons would never pull closer than four points the rest of the way.

DePaul responded from a 4-0 deficit to begin the fourth and pulled out its second victory in extras, 27-25. The Blue Demons hit a combined .385 and extended the match after fighting off Marquette match-point, 24-23.

Marquette used a 9-1 run midway through the final set to take the frame and the match 15-9. Barber landed five kills in the final set, including match-point with her 18th kill.

MU has won five-straight matches against the Blue Demons and 12 of 13 contests overall.

Shymansky is 100-43 at MU and 272-107 in his career. He entered the year 20th among active head coaches in winning percentage and 25th all-time in NCAA Division I.

It is the second match in a row in which MU won in five sets after also going the distance with Illinois State on Wednesday evening.

The Golden Eagles return to action at Georgetown on Friday, Oct. 4 and Villanova on Saturday, Oct. 5.




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