No. 24 Marquette Wins BIG EAST Tournament
Nov. 30, 2013
OMAHA, Neb. - The No. 24 Marquette University women's volleyball team won its first BIG EAST Women's Volleyball Championship title match by defeating Creighton, 3-1, on Saturday at D.J. Sokol Arena.
The Golden Eagles (25-5) claim the league's NCAA Championship bid and will compete in the tournament for the third straight year.
Freshman outside hitter Autumn Bailey rebounded from a rough opening set and led the squad with a match-high 17 kills. Fellow freshman outside hitter Nele Barber posted 16 kills on her way to all-tournament recognition, while middle hitter Meghan Niemann added 15 kills and a pair of blocks.
Niemann joined Barber and senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein on the all-tournament team. Koberstein posted 56 assists and 12 digs in the win while earning tournament most valuable player honors.
Creighton (22-8) was led by 12 kills from junior outside hitter Leah McNary.
Marquette bolted out to an early 6-1 lead in the first on its way to a 25-18 opening set win. Niemann led the way for the Golden Eagles in the frame with five kills and no errors on 10 swings. Jeziorowski also added eight digs in the stanza.
Despite a 23-21 lead late in the set, Marquette dropped the second 27-25 after fighting off CU set point twice. Niemann added another five kills in the frame while Autumn Bailey came alive for the Golden Eagles with five kills as well.
The Golden Eagles led for most of the third set on their way to a 25-21 victory, paced by seven kills from Bailey and six from Barber. Bond Shymansky called Marquette's final timeout with a 23-21 lead, after which Bailey and Barber closed things out with two kills.
Marquette closed out the tournament title with a 25-16 win in the fourth.
Each of the previous five matchups in the series were sweeps, including the two previous meetings this year which each went in favor of the home team. The Jays swept Marquette in Milwaukee in 2010 before MU returned the favor on Creighton's home court in 2011. CU also swept the Golden Eagles in the NCAA Championship to end MU's 2012 season in Minneapolis.
The Golden Eagles played in just their second BIG EAST title match and third as a member of any NCAA Division I conference. They fell to Louisville in the 2012 BIG EAST Championship title match and in the 2004 Conference USA tournament.
MU has won 14 straight contests and 20 of 21 overall.
Marquette awaits postseason fate and will gather at the Union Sports Annex (16 Street and Wells Street) as the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship bracket is unveiled live at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.