Dig Pink Match Highlights Busy Home Volleyball Weekend
Oct. 24, 2013
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team welcomes Creighton, Villanova and Georgetown to the Al McGuire Center from Friday, Oct. 25-Sunday, Oct. 27 for rematches against all three programs. The weekend features Marquette's annual "Dig Pink" match on Sunday afternoon against Georgetown and Alumni Weekend activities throughout.
The Golden Eagles (12-5, 4-1 BIG EAST), ranked 16th in NCAA Division I RPI, will first play host to Creighton (14-4, 5-1 BIG EAST) on Friday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. Marquette swept DePaul in its last contest on Saturday, Oct. 19 while hitting .375 as a team. Freshmen outside hitters Autumn Bailey and Nele Barber led MU with 14 kills and 12 kills, respectively, while senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein notched a career-high eight kills to go along with 36 assists and four blocks.
Creighton sits one spot outside the AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll, but is No. 5 in the NCAA RPI rankings (Oct. 21). The contest marks an opportunity for Marquette to gain ground on the Bluejays, who lead the Golden Eagles by half a match in the BIG EAST Conference standings. Creighton won the first meeting this season between the two programs on Sunday, Oct. 13 in Omaha, Neb., in a sweep.
Saturday's contest with the Wildcats is slated for 5 p.m. at the Al McGuire Center and the Golden Eagles will take on Georgetown on Sunday at 1 p.m. Marquette swept the Hoyas on Friday, Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C., and topped Villanova in four sets at Jake Nevin Field House on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Sunday's match against the Hoyas is MU's "Dig Pink" breast cancer awareness match, which features $2 admission for fans wearing pink. Marquette will also have "Dig Pink" t-shirts for sale at all three matches for $10, as well as autographed pink mini volleyballs for $15 and four online auctions with all proceeds going towards its fundraising campaign. Donations can be made via Marquette's Side-Out Foundation profile at http://go.mu.edu/DigPink.
Live statistics are available for all three matches through GameTracker, while live video streams of the Friday and Sunday contests can be accessed for free on GoMarquette.com's All-Access player.
For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
VILLANOVA [11-9 (3-4 BIG EAST) | Villanova.com | @NovaVolleyball]: Villanova has lost three of four matches after beginning BIG EAST play with consecutive victories. Marquette topped the Wildcats 3-1 on Oct. 5 in Villanova, Pa., and was paced by 14 kills and four aces from right-side hitter Lindsey Gosh. Senior libero Mariah Henley leads the BIG EAST with 5.09 digs per set and ranks fourth in service aces behind Gosh with 0.38 per frame. Sophomore Lauren Carpenter is Villanova's top scoring threat up front with 3.71 kills per set. The Golden Eagles have claimed the last six meetings against the Wildcats, with their last loss coming on Nov. 11, 2007 at home. Series history: MU leads 8-1.
GEORGETOWN [8-12 (2-5 BIG EAST) | GUHoyas.com | @HoyaVolleyball]: The Hoyas are just 8-12 on the season and 2-5 in the BIG EAST after dropping their last two matches to Seton Hall and St. John's at home last weekend. Georgetown fell to Marquette in a sweep on Friday, Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C., as the Golden Eagles hit a season-best .410 as a team, led by Autumn Bailey's 12 kills and five service aces. Sophomore Lauren Saar leads the Hoyas with 3.14 kills per set, though Georgetown hits a BIG EAST-worst .158 as a squad. Series history: MU leads 6-4.
BARBER EARNS BIG EAST FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Freshman outside hitter Nele Barber was named BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week on Monday, Oct. 21 after hitting .429 with 12 kills in Saturday's win over DePaul.
BUZZ WILLIAMS TEAMS WITH MARQUETTE VOLLEYBALL TO `DIG PINK': Men's basketball coach Buzz Williams will join women's volleyball coach Bond Shymansky in wearing blue-and-gold-striped overalls at the Nov. 22 match against Xavier if the Marquette community can raise over $7,000 for breast cancer research by that date.
Donations can be made via Marquette's Side-Out Foundation profile at http://go.mu.edu/DigPink . Fans also can help Marquette reach its goal by attending its annual "Dig Pink" breast cancer awareness match on Sunday, Oct. 27 against Georgetown, which features $2 admission for fans wearing pink.
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 16th in the NCAA Division I RPI Rankings (Oct. 14). Marquette and Penn State are the only schools to currently have men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball all ranked in the top 20 of the RPI.
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 1,908 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 hit the road for matches at Bulter and Xavier on Nov. 1-2, taking on the BIG EAST newcomers for the first time in league play. Marquette is 2-0 against both under Shymansky, with MU claiming the Xavier Invitational crown in Cincinnati last season with a 3-0 sweep over the Musketeers and a 3-1 win over Butler in 2009.