Volleyball Hosts Georgetown and Creighton This Weekend
Oct. 1, 2014
MILWAUKEE - The top two teams from the BIG EAST Conference Preseason Poll will square off on Saturday at the Al McGuire Center as the Marquette University women's volleyball team welcomes Creighton for a 6 p.m. tilt. The Golden Eagles will also face Georgetown on Friday at 7 p.m. before hosting the Bluejays on Saturday.
Marquette (11-3, 2-0 BIG EAST) has won seven-straight matches dating back to Sept. 13 and holds the league's only win over a top-25 opponent in a 3-2 victory at then-No. 7 Florida on Sept. 19. The Golden Eagles sit just one spot outside the AVCA Poll with 69 points, while Creighton is also receiving votes (four points).
MU defeated Creighton, 3-1, in the last meeting between the two Jesuit universities, to win its first-ever BIG EAST tournament championship on Nov. 30, 2013 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Marquette's lone blemish in BIG EAST play last season was a 3-0 loss at Creighton on Oct. 13 and it has won 14-straight regular season conference matches since that defeat. Creighton and Louisville are the only programs to defeat MU in regular season conference action since 2011 as MU went 15-1 in 2013 and 13-2 in 2012.
Sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey leads the Golden Eagles with 3.88 kills per set and 22 service aces this season and led MU to wins in its first two conference matches with 5.67 kills and 4.50 digs per set in wins at Providence and St. John's last weekend. Bailey was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for her play, while senior Lindsey Gosh and freshman setter Gabby Benda also earned recognition from the league.
Gosh hit .457 in the victories to earn a spot on the honor roll for the second-straight week and Benda garnered freshman of the week for the first time in her career after pacing MU to a .364 attack efficiency with 9.83 assists and 2.00 digs per set.
All fans in attendance on Saturday are encouraged to wear gold as a show of support for the Golden Eagles and all who do will be given $2 admission.
Saturday's "Gold Out" will also feature a variety of giveaways for students. The first 600 students at the Al McGuire Center on Saturday will receive an exclusive "Ring Out Ahoya" gold t-shirt and all students will be entered in a drawing to win two free Fanatics tickets for the upcoming Marquette men's basketball season. In addition to the ticket drawing, all students will earn double Fanatics points for the match to position themselves for tickets to the Dec. 19 men's basketball game against Alabama A&M at the Al.
The first 200 students to Friday's match against Georgetown will receive free pizza.
A free live video stream will be available for each game on GoMarquette.com as will live statistics through Gametracker.
For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
GEORGETOWN [6-10 (0-3 BIG EAST) | guhoyas.com | @HoyaVolleyball]: The Hoyas started their 2014 campaign 6-3, but have dropped their last seven matches, including their first three BIG EAST contests. Georgetown hosted Xavier and Butler last weekend and suffered a pair of four-set losses. Sophomore setter Caitlin Brauneis averaged 11.5 assists per set over the weekend, tallying 55 assists in the team's match against Butler and 37 against Xavier. She ranks fourth in the conference in both assists per set this season overall (9.66) and in BIG EAST play (10.18). Series History: MU leads 7-4.
(RV) CREIGHTON [10-6 (3-0 BIG EAST) | gocreighton.com | @CreightonVB]: The Bluejays sit atop the BIG EAST standings alongside Marquette and Seton Hall after posting wins over Georgetown, Butler and Xavier last week. Creighton has only dropped one set in conference play thus far, sweeping the Hoyas and Musketeers and beating the Bulldogs 3-1. Junior libero Kate Elman was named BIG EAST Conference Defensive Player of the Week in the league's weekly release, posting 4.8 digs and 0.9 assists per set in her team's first three conference matches. Against Butler alone, Elman recorded a season-high 30 digs, which is the highest mark of any BIG EAST player in a four-set match this fall. Series history: CU leads 5-3.
QUICK HITS/RECENT PROGRAM HISTORY:
BIG EAST Player of the Week: Meghan Niemann (Sept. 22)
BIG EAST Freshman of the Week: Gabby Benda (Sept. 29)
Marquette's five-set win over then-No. 7 Florida on Sept. 19 marked the first win in program history over a top-10 opponent. The Golden Eagles had lost their previous 12 meetings to ranked foes prior to their triumph over the Gators.
Sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey is the BIG EAST Conference Preseason Player of the Year. Bailey was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year in 2013 and was the AVCA East Coast Freshman of the Year. She led the conference during league matches with 4.61 kills and 5.35 points per set.
The Golden Eagles were picked second in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll with four first-place votes and are currently receiving votes (69 points) in the AVCA Poll.
Head coach Ryan Theis is in his first season with the Golden Eagles after six years at Ohio University. Theis entered 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.
Marquette reached the 20-win plateau for the fourth-straight season in 2013 and the fifth time in program history overall.
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.
UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles hit the road for a midweek match at Xavier on Wednesday, Oct. 8 and will face BIG EAST travel partner DePaul in Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 11.
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