Volleyball to Face American and No. 8 Florida State
Sept. 3, 2014
The Golden Eagles, who are receiving 47 points in the AVCA Coaches Poll, will face the Eagles (3-0) at 6 p.m. Central time on Friday, Sept. 5 before closing out action on Saturday at noon CT against the eighth-ranked Seminoles (2-0).
Marquette went 2-1 in its opening weekend with a pair of sweeps over UC Santa Barbara and VCU and a straight-sets loss to then-No. 18 Colorado State at the Rams Volleyball Classic in Fort Collins, Colorado. The matches were the first for new head coach Ryan Theis with the Golden Eagles.
Senior right-side hitter Lindsey Gosh and redshirt junior middle hitter Meghan Niemann each earned all-tournament honors, while transfer Courtney Kintzel garnered BIG EAST Conference Weekly Honor Roll mention. Kintzel tied for the league high with a .500 hitting percentage (17-1-32) over the opening weekend, while Niemann is second in the conference with 15 blocks for an average of 1.67 per set.
Sophomore Lauren Houg, who donned the libero jersey for all three matches in Colorado, ranks fourth in the BIG EAST with 4.11 digs per set. The Golden Eagles are led in scoring by Autumn Bailey's 3.56 kills per set and five total service aces.
Friday's match will mark the first contest against American since a five-set win over the Eagles in the 2008 Marquette Cheese Bowl at the Al McGuire Center. MU and Florida State have never met.
Live statistics will be available for both matches courtesy of AUEagles.com, as will a live video stream of the American match through the Patriot League Network and CampusInsiders.com.
For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).SCOUTING THE COMPETITION: at (RV) AMERICAN [3-0 (0-0 Patriot) | AUEagles.com | @AU_Volleyball]: The Eagles dropped out of the latest edition of the AVCA Coaches Poll, despite starting their 2014 campaign 3-0. American played Georgetown, Howard and George Mason in the D.C. Volleyball Challenge over Labor Day weekend and dropped only one set in the entire tournament. AU was paced by senior setter Monika Smidova, whose team-leading 59 assists and 26 digs over the weekend earned her the D.C. Volleyball Challenge MVP. Series history: MU leads 1-0.
vs. No. 8 FLORIDA STATE [2-0 (0-0 ACC) | Seminoles.com | @FSU_Volleyball]: The Seminoles jumped up to No. 8 in the national rankings, following an opening weekend in which the team defeated No. 7 Nebraska, 3-1, and swept Iowa State. Junior outside hitter Nicole Walch led Florida State with 36 kills and a .284 hitting percentage (36-13-81) in the team's first two contests. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Horton, a transfer who played under new MU head coach Ryan Theis at Ohio last season, also was a major contributor, chipping in 26 kills for a .239 hitting percentage (26-10-67). FSU will face No. 11 Florida on Thursday evening in Tallahassee before making the trek to D.C. Series history: First meeting.
QUICK HITS/RECENT PROGRAM HISTORY:
• Redshirt sophomore Mary Nilles and freshman Gabby Benda each saw time at setter in Marquette's first three matches as the Golden Eagles ran a 6-2 offense. Nilles, Courtney Kintzel, Ellen Hays and Lauren Houg (libero) each made the first starts of their careers.
• The Golden Eagles were picked second in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll with four first-place votes and are receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25 Poll.
• Head coach Ryan Theis is in his first season with the Golden Eagles after six years at Ohio University. Theis enters 2014 as the 18th-winningest active head coach in NCAA Division I (.727) and was the 2009 and 2013 MAC Coach of the Year while leading the Bobcats to four NCAA tournaments.
• Marquette made its third straight appearance in the NCAA Championship in 2013.
• MU won 15 of its final 16 matches of 2013 and ended the year as winners of its last 21 of 23 matches overall.
• Marquette reached the 20-win plateau for the fourth-straight season in 2013 and the fifth time in program history overall.
• Consider the following about Marquette's departed 2013 senior class:
• MU won its first BIG EAST regular season and tournament championships in program history in 2013 and went a program-best 15-1 in league action.
• Marquette was ranked for the first time ever in the AVCA Coaches Poll on Nov. 25, 2013 at No. 24 and rose to No. 22 in the final poll before the NCAA tournament. It ended the year No. 23.
• All-Tournament: Rams Volleyball Classic (Lindsey Gosh and Meghan Niemann)
• BIG EAST Honor Roll: Courtney Kintzel (Sept. 1)
UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles host the Marquette Invitational on Sept. 12-13 for their first home matches of 2014. MU will play James Madison and Rice on Friday as well as Green Bay and UT San Antonio on Saturday.
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