Golden Eagles to Play Wednesday at Butler
Oct. 13, 2014
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University women’s volleyball team heads to Indianapolis for its final midweek conference match of the season against Butler at the Health and Recreation Complex on Butler’s campus.
The Golden Eagles (14-4, 5-1 BIG EAST) are coming off a 2-0 week in which they were led to victories at Xavier and DePaul by BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week Autumn Bailey.
Bailey posted match-highs of 20 and 16 kills against the Musketeers and Blue Demons, respectively, while also landing a career-high seven service aces in the sweep of DePaul.
The Burlington, Ontario, native leads the BIG EAST in kills, service aces and points per set with averages of 4.14 kills, 0.48 aces and 4.89 points. Through six conference matches, she is averaging 5.25 kills per set while hitting .295.
The Golden Eagles rank first or second in every major offensive category in league matches and are holding opponents to a miniscule .128 hitting percentage through six BIG EAST contests. Their overall opponent hitting percentage of .146 ranks 15th nationally among NCAA Division I programs.
Marquette topped Butler by the score of 3-1 in all three meetings in 2013, with the final contest coming in the first semifinal of the BIG EAST tournament in Omaha, Nebraska.
Then-freshman Nele Barber posted her best numbers of the season against the Bulldogs last year with 4.92 kills per set and a hitting percentage of .417. Barber hit .500 with 18 kills against Butler in the BIG EAST semis and landed a career-best 23 kills in the first meeting of 2013 in Indianapolis.
Live statistics for Wednesday’s match will be provided by ButlerSports.com.
For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
at BUTLER [12-7 (4-3 BIG EAST) | ButlerSports.com | @ButlerVB]: Butler sits tied for fourth in the BIG EAST with travel partner Xavier at a mark of 4-3 in league action. The Bulldogs went 2-1 last week with sweeps over DePaul and Providence and a three-set loss at St. John’s. Butler is among the BIG EAST leaders in most defensive categories, leading the league in blocks (2.85) and digs (17.07) per set and sitting fifth in opponent hitting percentage. Sophomore middle blocker Kayla Bivins leads the conference with 1.45 blocks per set, while senior outside hitter Belle Obert is third in kills (4.07 per set) and freshman setter Makayla Ferguson is second in assists (10.69 per set). Obert and Ferguson were each named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday. Series History: BU leads 6-4.
QUICK HITS/RECENT PROGRAM HISTORY:
• BIG EAST Player of the Week: Meghan Niemann (Sept. 22)
• BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week: Autumn Bailey (Oct. 13)
• BIG EAST Freshman of the Week: Gabby Benda (Sept. 29)
• NCAA RPI: Oct. 6 – No. 21; Oct. 13 – No. 28
• The Golden Eagles will host the BIG EAST Conference Women’s Volleyball Championship at the Al McGuire Center for the third time in the last four seasons on Nov. 28-29.
• 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 were picked second in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll with four first-place votes and are currently receiving votes (20 points) in the AVCA Poll.
• Despite the high expectations, MU’s most consistent starting lineup boasts just one upperclassman, senior Lindsey Gosh, along with four sophomores and a freshman.
• Sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey, the 2013 BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Year, was pegged as the conference’s preseason player of the year in August.
• 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.
• 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’s last loss to a BIG EAST team not named Creighton or Louisville in regular season action was in 2011. The last loss to a team outside of Creighton currently in the BIG EAST was a 3-2 defeat at Georgetown on Sept. 26, 2010.
UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles return home to face Villanova on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. and Seton Hall, a team undefeated (7-0) in BIG EAST action, on Saturday at 6 p.m. Both matches will feature a live video stream, with Saturday’s contest produced by the BIG EAST Digital Network. Patrick Reed and Bob Brainerd will have the call on Saturday against the Pirates, which will be available through FOX Sports GO, the mobile application for FOX Sports.
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