Volleyball Heads to BIG East Showdown at Creighton
Oct. 10, 2013
MILWAUKEE - A match at preseason BIG EAST Conference favorite Creighton awaits the Marquette University women’s volleyball team on Sunday, Oct. 13 at D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha, Neb., as the Golden Eagles aim to remain the lone undefeated squad in league action.
Marquette (11-4, 3-0 BIG EAST) enters play on the heels of a straight-sets victory over Loyola Chicago on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the Al McGuire Center. Senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein led a balanced offensive attack with 45 assists for the Golden Eagles in which they hit a combined .384 (51-11-112). Reigning BIG EAST Freshman of the Week Autumn Bailey landed a match-high 12 kills on .333 hitting, while Lindsey Gosh and Meghan Niemann each added 11 kills and both hit over .400.
Sunday’s meeting marks the first regular season conference showdown between the two Midwestern Jesuit universities, which have played each other in the last three campaigns. The Bluejays ended Marquette’s 2012 season with a sweep (25-22, 25-23, 28-26) of the Golden Eagles in the NCAA Championship in Minneapolis, Minn. That contest featured 38 ties and 19 lead changes and MU was led by 13 kills apiece from since-graduated seniors Danielle Carlson and Holly Mertens.
Live statistics and a free audio stream from KZOT (1180 AM) can be accessed through GoCreighton.com, as can a live video feed on a subscription basis. For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
at (RV) CREIGHTON [10-4 (1-1 BIG EAST) | GoCreighton.com | @CreightonVB]: The Bluejays dropped out of AVCA Coaches Poll on Monday afternoon for the first time this season following a 1-1 weekend in their BIG EAST Conference debut. Creighton fell at Butler, 3-1, in its league lidlifter on Friday before topping Xavier on Saturday in four sets in Cincinnati. Junior outside hitter Leah McNary, who had a match-high 14 kills in the two squads’ last meeting on Nov. 30, 2012, leads the Jays with 3.19 kills per set this season. Junior Preseason Co-BIG EAST Player of the Year Kelli Browning averages a league-best 1.43 blocks per set, while Creighton leads the conference with 2.94 blocks per set as a team. The Bluejays sit 10th in the first NCAA Division I RPI Rankings, released on Monday, Oct. 7. Series history: CU leads 3-1.
Autumn Bailey EARNS FOURTH BIG EAST FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONOR: Autumn Bailey earned BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week honors for the fourth time this season on Monday, Oct. 7, while junior right-side hitter Lindsey Gosh earned mention on the league’s weekly honor roll for the third time.
Bailey led Marquette to a sweep of Georgetown on Friday evening with a team-high 12 kills and career-high five service aces. Less than 24 hours later, the Burlington, Ontario native helped Marquette to a 3-1 victory at Villanova with a match-high 15 kills. The freshman averaged 3.86 kills per set on the week and hit a combined .404 (27-6-52).
Gosh landed eight service aces in the wins over the Hoyas and Wildcats. The junior leads the conference and ranks fourth in all of NCAA Division I with 0.68 aces per set on the season.
KOBERSTEIN NAMED A SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE: Senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein, the 2013 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Co-Player of the Year, was named one of 30 candidates for the women’s volleyball Senior CLASS Award. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans.
QUICK HITS/RECENT PROGRAM HISTORY:
• The Golden Eagles are ranked 15th in the NCAA Division I RPI Rankings (Oct. 7).
• Marquette will host its annual Dig Pink match in support of the Side-Out Foundation and its fight against breast cancer on Sunday, Oct. 27 against Georgetown. Donations are accepted online at go.mu.edu/DigPink or by signing up on a per-dig basis at any home volleyball match during October.
• Autumn Bailey and Elizabeth Koberstein each earned all-tournament honors at the Hampton Inn Invitational (Aug. 30-31) and Marquette Challenge (Sept. 6-7) to begin the season. Koberstein also earned all-tournament recognition at the Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Airport FGCU Volleyball Classic (Sept. 13-14) along with Lindsey Gosh. Gosh and Julie Jeziorowski were honored in the Marquette Invitational (Sept. 20-22).
• Bailey captured four of the first six BIG EAST Freshman of the Week (9/2, 9/9, 9/23 and 10/7) honors of the year.
• Marquette was picked second in the 2013 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll for the second-straight season. MU received two first-place votes, while Creighton received the other seven and was picked first.
• Senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein (Madison, Wis.) and Creighton middle hitter Kelli Browning (Waukesha, Wis.) are the coaches’ choices for 2013 BIG EAST Preseason Co-Players of the Year.
• Marquette’s 27 victories in 2012 set a program record in NCAA Division I play, dating back to the 1986 campaign. Its 13 BIG EAST wins also set a new program standard.
• Just seven universities put men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams in their respective NCAA Championships during the fall of 2012. Those seven are Marquette, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, UCLA and Washington.
• The Golden Eagles' BIG EAST record has improved each year under Shymansky (2009: 6-8; 2010: 11-3; 2011: 12-2; 2012: 13-2), as has their overall win total (18, 23, 24, 27).
• Second-year captain Julie Jeziorowski is the Marquette career record holder with 1,882 digs. Her 2011 (638) and 2012 (604) totals are the two highest single-season dig marks in program history.
• Eight Marquette players have earned AVCA All-America honors over the last two years. MU’s setter has earned the honor in 2010 (Nikki Klingsporn), 2011 (Chelsea Heier) and 2012 (Koberstein). Danielle Carlson became MU's first two-time AVCA All-American in 2012.
• Bond Shymansky entered the 2013 season 20th among active NCAA Division I head coaches in winning percentage (.719; 264-103) and 25th all-time.
UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles begin a four-match homestand with a contest against DePaul at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Al McGuire Center.