Marquette Welcomes Villanova and Seton Hall
Oct. 16, 2014
MILWAUKEE - Coming off a Wednesday afternoon 3-2 defeat at Butler, the Marquette University women's volleyball team returns to the Al McGuire Center to host Villanova on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. and BIG EAST Conference-leading Seton Hall on Saturday at 6 p.m. in a match broadcast on 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. Friday's match will also be streamed live, free of charge, on GoMarquette.com's All-Access player.
Despite a 2-1 match advantage at Butler and a 17-14 lead in the fourth set, the Golden Eagles (14-5, 5-2 BIG EAST) lost on Wednesday as the Bulldogs hit .379 in the fifth.
Sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey posted new career highs of 30 kills and 25 digs in the loss while hitting a combined .359. Bailey's kill total is the most for an MU attacker since fellow Canadian Kim Todd landed 31 kills on Nov. 18, 2006 in a BIG EAST tournament semifinal loss to Louisville.
She landed at least five kills in all five sets, including six of MU's 11 points in the shortened final frame.
Through seven league matches, Bailey leads the conference by well over one kill and one point per set with averages of 5.40 kills and 6.22 points per frame, and ranks ninth with an attack percentage of .307. Niemann is first in conference match hitting percentage at .377 on the year.
For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
VILLANOVA [10-12 (3-4 BIG EAST) | Villanova.com | @NovaVolleyball]: Villanova has lost three of its last four matches and heads to Milwaukee looking to snap a seven-match losing streak to the Golden Eagles. VU is hitting .166 on the year and is posting just 11.79 kills per set, led by Lauren Carpenter's 3.72 kills per frame. Freshman libero Allison Fitzgerald leads the Wildcats' back row with 4.40 digs per set, the fourth-best mark in the league. The last Wildcat victory over MU was a sweep on Nov. 11, 2007 at the Al McGuire Center. Series History: MU leads 9-1.
SETON HALL [17-3 (7-0 BIG EAST) | SHUPirates.com | @SHUVolley]: The Pirates ride an 11-match winning streak into the weekend and will face DePaul on Friday evening before heading north for the showdown with the Golden Eagles. Seton Hall enters Friday's match with the Blue Demons a perfect 7-0 in BIG EAST play and is 64th in the latest NCAA Division I RPI ranking. Seniors Shelbey and Stacey Manthorpe lead the charge for the Pirates, who rank third in the conference in hitting percentage (.236) and lead the league in opponent hitting percentage (.136) and blocks (2.85 per set). Shelbey Manthorpe has been the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week twice this season and middle blocker Ashani Rubin is the reigning BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. Series History: MU leads 7-3.
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.
UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles head to Omaha, Nebraska for a Friday showdown between last year's conference tournament finalists at the site of the championship match, where MU defeated Creighton 3-1. The Bluejays topped Marquette 3-1 in the previous meeting this season on Saturday, Oct. 4 in Milwaukee. MU will also play at Georgetown on Sunday afternoon.
GOMARQUETTE.COM THE OFFICIAL HOME OF MARQUETTE ATHLETICS