Volleyball Picked Second in BIG EAST, Trio Honored
Aug. 20, 2014
NEW YORK - The Marquette University women's volleyball team was picked second in the BIG EAST Conference Coaches' Poll and sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey was chosen as the Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year. Senior right-side hitter Lindsey Gosh and redshirt sophomore middle hitter Meghan Niemann were also unanimous All-BIG EAST selections.
It is the third year in a row that the Golden Eagles have been pegged as the preseason runner-up, while Bailey follows former teammate Elizabeth Koberstein, who was the preseason co-player of the year last season.
The Golden Eagles will be led by first-year head coach Ryan Theis and received 71 points and four first-place votes, placing them behind Creighton's 77 points (five first-place votes). Other BIG EAST tournament semifinalists from 2013 rounded out the top four with Xavier third and Butler fourth. The votes were cast by the league's 10 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own players or teams.
Bailey, the 2013 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, led the BIG EAST in both kills (4.61/set) and points (5.35) per set during league matches and was an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American as a rookie. She ended the year second among all freshmen in NCAA Division I with 4.16 kills and 4.76 points per set and reached a season-high of 29 kills in her first BIG EAST match against DePaul, the highest total for an MU player since 2007.
Neimann hit a team-best .344 on the season and .368 in league play, while averaging 2.75 kills and 0.74 blocks per set. The Jackson, Wisconsin native reached double digits in kills in 13 of Marquette's final 14 matches as the Golden Eagles amassed a program-record 15-match win streak before the NCAA Second Round loss to No. 18 Illinois. Niemann was a 2013 All-BIG EAST First Team selection and AVCA Honorable Mention All-American.
Gosh earned All-BIG EAST Second Team honors in 2013 and started 29 of the 30 matches in which she played at right-side hitter. The Oconomowoc, Wisconsin native is one of the most deadly jump servers in the nation as she led the BIG EAST and ranked 11th in NCAA Division I with 0.47 aces as a junior. The lone senior on the roster, Gosh averaged 2.65 kills per set and hit .297 in 2013.
The Golden Eagles went 26-6 overall in 2013 and a program-best 15-1 in BIG EAST Conference play on their way to their first-ever league regular season and tournament titles. They also made their third-straight trip to the NCAA Championship and advanced to the second round for the second time.
The 2014 BIG EAST Volleyball Championship will be held on Nov. 28-29 at the Al McGuire Center for the third time in the last four seasons. The top four teams will compete and the tournament champion will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA's 34th Division I Women's Volleyball Championship.
The Golden Eagles begin the 2014 season on Saturday, Aug. 30 against UC-Santa Barbara and VCU at the Rams Volleyball Classic in For Collins, Colorado.
2014 BIG EAST Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
BIG EAST Preseason Players of the Year
2014 BIG EAST Women's Volleyball Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
* - 13 members because of a tie in the voting