Golden Eagles Sweep Seton Hall to Advance to BIG EAST Semis
Nov. 18, 2011
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team advanced to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship for the third time in program history following a 25-22, 25-21, 25-23 sweep of Seton Hall Friday evening at the Al McGuire Center.
Senior outside hitter and All-BIG EAST Second Team selection Ashley Beyer led the Golden Eagles with 17 kills, while redshirt junior right-side hitter Holly Mertens matched a career-high with 15 kills. BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Chelsea Heier had 46 assists for Marquette in the win.
Seton Hall falls to 17-13 with the loss and was led by All-BIG EAST First Team selection Meghan Matusiak's 14 kills. Freshman setter Shelbey Manthorpe had a triple double for the Pirates with 10 kills, 28 assists and 14 digs.
Marquette opened the first set with a bang, reeling off five straight points to force an early Seton Hall timeout. The Pirates countered quickly and battled back to even the match at eight a piece. Marquette never fell behind and took the opening set 25-22. Beyer hit .500 in the set, with seven kills and no errors on 14 attacks. Heier had 15 assists for the Golden Eagles.
The second set went back and forth and was extremely tightly contested, with no team leading by more than two until Marquette jumped in front for good at 17-14. The Golden Eagles held off a late charge by the Pirates, and took the set 25-21. Heier had another phenomenal frame, with 16 more assists and her first kill of the night. Beyer and Mertens had five kills apiece to lead the Golden Eagles.
The third set was even closer than the second, with no team leading by more than three throughout. Marquette held a slim lead for the majority of the set however, and Beyer crushed the game-clinching kill, sealing the 25-23 victory for the Golden Eagles. Ciara Jones had six kills to lead the Golden Eagle attack. Heier had 15 assists in the final set.
The Golden Eagles improved to 13-0 on the year in sets with a chance to sweep.
The game was a stark contrast to the first meeting of the two teams this year, in which Marquette battled back from two sets down to win 3-2.
On Thursday night, Marquette racked up numerous BIG EAST awards, most notably coach of the year for Bond Shymansky. Additionally, Heier won BIG EAST freshman of the Year, and Danielle Carlson and Jones were named to the All-BIG EAST Conference First Team. Beyer and Heier were named to the conference's second team.
With the win, Marquette makes the BIG EAST Conference Championship semifinals for just the third time in program history. They will face off against second-seeded Cincinnati at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.