Bailey and Benda Earn BIG EAST Weekly Awards
Oct. 20, 2014
NEW YORK – For the second week in a row, Marquette University sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey has been named the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week, while setter Gabby Benda is the freshman of the week for the second time this season.
Bailey posted a total of 76 kills in wins over Villanova and BIG EAST-leading Seton Hall, as well as a five-set loss at Butler. The sophomore was electric in Wednesday’s defeat by the Bulldogs, posting career highs of 30 kills and 25 digs, while hitting .359.
Bailey’s kill total at Butler is the most for a BIG EAST student-athlete this season and the most for an MU player since fellow Canadian Kim Todd had 31 kills on Nov. 18, 2006 in a BIG EAST semifinal match against Louisville.
The Burlington, Ontario native hit .419 with 21 kills, nine digs and a pair of service aces in Friday’s sweep of Villanova and posted 25 kills, 18 digs and five blocks in MU’s record-setting four-set win over Seton Hall. Against the Pirates on Saturday, Bailey attempted 89 attacks, the most-ever for an MU player, as the Golden Eagles compiled an NCAA-record 117 points in the 32-34, 25-20, 25-23, 35-33 victory.
For the week, Bailey, who leads the conference in kills, aces and points, posted averages of 6.33 kills, 4.33 digs, 0.75 blocks and 7.00 points per set with an attack percentage of .255.
Benda earned her second career freshman of the week honor while averaging 11.42 assists and 2.42 digs per set in the three matches. The Raleigh, North Carolina, native notched a career-high 60 assists and 15 digs for her first double-double in the win over the Pirates. She started the final two matches of the week against Villanova and Seton Hall, and played the majority of Wednesday’s match at Butler, posting 49 assists and nine digs.
Through nine BIG EAST matches, Benda leads the BIG EAST with 10.68 assists per frame.
The Golden Eagles sit first or second in every major offensive category in league matches and are hitting .271 against league foes.
Marquette (16-5, 7-2 BIG EAST) returns to action in Omaha, Nebraska against preseason league-favorite Creighton in a 7 p.m. match broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network. The Bluejays topped Marquette 3-1 in the previous meeting this season on Saturday, Oct. 4 in Milwaukee.
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