Volleyball Holds Annual Banquet to Commemorate 2011 Campaign
Feb. 24, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team commemorated its 2011 season with its annual end of the year banquet, honoring four players with awards as voted upon by coaches and teammates.
Senior Ciara Jones was named most valuable player, red shirt junior Holly Mertens received the most improved player award and Chelsea Heier and Julie Jeziorowski earned the coaches and hustle awards, respectively.
The Golden Eagles had a record-setting season, finishing the 2011 campaign with a 24-11 mark and earned an at-large selection to the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship for the first time in program history. MU defeated Western Kentucky in the opening round, before falling to eventual national runner-up, Illinois, in the second round.
Jones' MVP award adds to her already impressive list of post-season accolades. The senior outside hitter led the team with 3.59 kills per set last season, earning her a spot on the All-BIG EAST First Team and an honorable mention AVCA Division I All-American selection. The Orlando, Fla., is one of 11 Marquette players to tally over 1,000 career kills, finishing her career with 1,140 kills.
After seeing action in only four sets in the 2010 season due to a knee injury, Mertens bounced back in 2011 to record 144 kills and a .258 hitting percentage. The red shirt junior's performance in the conference tournament earned her a place on the 2011 BIG EAST Conference Women's Volleyball Championship All-Tournament Team. Mertens hit a combined .345 with 27 kills on 58 attacks in tournament play, and helped Marquette reach the conference semifinals for the second consecutive season.
Heier concludes an impressive freshman campaign with the coaches award. The San Clemente, Calif., native was named freshman of the year in the BIG EAST and AVCA Northwest Region as well as AVCA Division I Honorable Mention honors. The freshman setter led the BIG EAST with 11.89 assists per set.
Jeziorowski was the defensive stalwart for MU in 2011, setting a new Marquette single-season digs record with 1,046 on the campaign. The sophomore libero ranked fifth in the conference with 5.06 digs per set. Jeziorowski became the sixth player in program history to reach the 1,00-dig plateu on Nov. 26 at Northern Illinois.