Volleyball Heads to Creighton and Georgetown
Oct. 22, 2014
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team heads to Omaha, Nebraska, for a repeat match against the BIG EAST Conference preseason-favorite Creighton Bluejays on Friday, Oct. 24, before heading to Washington, D.C. to face Georgetown on Sunday, Oct. 26.
The Golden Eagles (16-5, 7-2 BIG EAST) will look to avenge a 3-1 loss to Creighton earlier this year on Oct. 4 at the Al McGuire Center. The match at D.J. Sokol Arena is slated for a 7 p.m. opening serve from the site of last year's conference tournament, which MU won for the first time in program history. Brad Burwell and Erin Russell will have the call on the BIG EAST Digital Network, which can be accessed through the FOX Sports GO application.
Sunday's match at Georgetown is scheduled to begin at noon Central time in Washington, D.C., at McDonough Arena and features a live video stream on a paid basis.
Marquette enters the match against Creighton riding the momentum of a 3-1 victory on Saturday over Seton Hall, a squad previously unbeaten in BIG EAST action. The Golden Eagles scored 117 points in the win against the Pirates, an NCAA record for a four-set match since 25-point rally scoring was instituted in 2008.
Two-time reigning BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week Autumn Bailey leads the Golden Eagles into action with league-leading averages of 5.66 kills, 0.44 service aces and 6.52 points per set in conference play. The sophomore posted career highs of 30 kills and 25 digs in a five-set loss at Butler on Wednesday, Oct. 15, and has notched at least 20 kills in five of the last six contests.
Bailey had 24 kills in the last meeting with the Bluejays, but also accounted for 20 errors, including 14 hitting errors for an attack percentage of .143 in the loss.
In the last match against Georgetown, a 3-0 sweep in Milwaukee on Friday, Oct. 3, redshirt sophomore middle hitter Meghan Niemann led the Golden Eagles with 10 kills and five blocks on .833 hitting.
Since the start of BIG EAST play, Marquette sits first in the conference in hitting percentage (.271), kills (14.94 per set) and assists (13.84 per set), and is second in service aces (1.41 per set) and opponent hitting percentage (.158).
For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
CREIGHTON [15-7 (8-1 BIG EAST) | gocreighton.com | @CreightonVB]: The Bluejays are led into the weekend by reigning league defensive player of the week Kelli Browning, a senior middle blocker who helped CU hold St. John's and Providence to a hitting percentage of a miniscule .011 over the weekend. Creighton's opponents are hitting just .129 in conference action and Browning's 2.33 blocks per set over the weekend upped her BIG EAST-best mark to 1.64 blocks per set in league play. The Waukesha, Wisconsin, native posted 14 kills and 10 blocks in the last meeting against MU on Oct. 4, while sophomore Jess Bird led the Jays with 18 kills. Marquette and Creighton have split four matches against each other since the Bluejays joined the league last season, one of which was a 3-1 MU victory in the 2013 BIG EAST title match.
GEORGETOWN [8-14 (2-7 BIG EAST) | guhoyas.com | @HoyaVolleyball]: The Hoyas sit 2-7 in conference play and have lost 11 of their last 13 matches, with the lone victories coming in sweeps of DePaul and Providence, the two squads which sit below them on the BIG EAST leaderboard. Georgetown in paced by sophomore setter Caitlin Brauneis' 9.65 assists per set, while freshman outside hitter Terese Cannon leads the Hoyas with 2.96 kills and 3.27 points per frame. The Golden Eagles have won the last five meetings against the Hoyas with the last loss coming in five sets on Sept. 26, 2010 at McDonough Arena. Series History: MU leads 8-4.
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 and Oct. 20)
BIG EAST Freshman of the Week: Gabby Benda (Sept. 29 and Oct. 20)
NCAA RPI: Oct. 6 - No. 21; Oct. 13 - No. 28; Oct. 20 - No. 24
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 (eight 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 return to the Al McGuire Center for their next four conference matches, beginning with Butler on Friday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. MU also welcomes Xavier on Saturday, Nov. 1 before heading across town to face the Milwaukee Panthers on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.
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