Marquette Falls to Louisville in BIG EAST Conference Title Match, 3-0
Nov. 18, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team fell to No. 10 Louisville 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 26-24) in the title match of the 2012 BIG EAST Conference Championship Sunday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center.
Louisville, the conference's regular season champion, earned its fifth BIG EAST tournament title and will receive the league's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. Senior Lola Arslanbekova paced the Cardinals with a match-best 13 kills and classmate Gwen Rucker hit .400 (10-2-20) to help U of L improve to 28-3 on the season.
Marquette (26-6) was led by sophomore Lindsey Gosh's nine kills and redshirt senior Holly Mertens' eight. Senior Danielle Carlson had seven kills and six blocks as the Golden Eagles hit just .165 in the contest.
Carlson, along with junior setter Elizabeth Koberstein, earned all-tournament honors for their performances in MU's three matches this weekend. Koberstein notched a match-high 31 assists in the championship match.
Marquette struggled early on the offensive end, hitting just .050 (8-6-40) in the opening frame. MU's poor hitting percentage allowed the Cardinals to claim a 25-19 victory and jump out to a 1-0 lead in the match. Despite the lack of production on the offensive side, MU was able to keep it close fighting back from a seven-point deficit to pull within three, 21-18, but that's as close as the Golden Eagles would come to catching the Cardinals. Rucker led the Cardinals with a set-high nine points in the stanza, picking up six kills and three blocks.
Gosh helped to jump start the Golden Eagles in the second set, slamming home three kills early in the frame to give MU a 9-5 advantage. After Marquette surrendered the lead halfway through the set, Gosh got MU going again, reeling off three consecutive kills to tie it at 16-16 and force the Cardinals to take timeout.
A back-and-forth affair took place towards the end of set two, until junior Brooke Mattingly picked up her third kill of the match on set-point to give U of L a 25-23 set-win and a 2-0 advantage heading into intermission.
It was only the second time this season that Marquette has trailed 2-0 in match. The other occasion being its five-set victory at Rutgers back on Oct. 14.
The third frame proved to be another tightly-contested set. With the score tied 19-19, both sides exchanged points to pull even four times, before a kill from Mattingly and a Mertens attack error gave Louisville the set, 26-24, and the sweep.
The Golden Eagles are now 5-5 all-time in the BIG EAST tournament, including 0-4 against Louisville. The appearance in the title match was MU's first since joining BIG EAST in 2006.
Marquette will conclude its campaign on Saturday, Nov. 24 when it welcomes Northern Illinois to the Al McGuire Center for a 6 p.m. match. Following the contest with the Huskies, MU will hope for an at-large berth to the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship, when the selection show is televised Sunday, Nov. 25 at 3 p.m. Central time on ESPNU.
2012 BIG EAST Conference All-Tournament Team