Marquette Readies for Crosstown Showdown at Milwaukee
Nov. 3, 2014
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team will play its final non-conference match of the regular season at the Klotsche Center against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The contest can be viewed live through the Horizon League Network, while Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will show the match on a tape-delayed basis, beginning Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. Matt Menzl (play-by-play) and Michelle Griffin-Wenzel (analyst) will handle the call from the Klotsche Center.
"Milwaukee is a good team and anytime you go into a visiting team's gym, which is really good at home, you have to be well prepared," Marquette head coach Ryan Theis said. "I expect that we will get pushed and if we respond positively and they don't let us off the hook, it will be a good confidence builder. I am expecting them to come at us and it will be a tough game."
The Golden Eagles (19-6, 10-3 BIG EAST) kept pace in a tight BIG EAST Conference race over the weekend with a pair of sweeps over Butler and Xavier at the Al McGuire Center. The victories pushed MU to the double-digit win plateau in league action for the fifth-straight year and a win on Tuesday at Milwaukee would give MU a 20th victory for a fifth year in a row. MU and Seton Hall sit tied for second in the league standings with a 10-3 record, a pair of matches behind first-place Creighton.
Autumn Bailey, Lindsey Gosh and Nele Barber each averaged over 3.00 kills per set against the Bulldogs and Musketeers, while junior Erin Lehman made her first two starts since Aug. 30 and landed 2.67 kills per frame. Both Bailey and Gosh were named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for women's volleyball on Monday afternoon.
Bailey, who leads the BIG EAST in kills, service aces and points per set, now has 403 kills in 2014, making her just the fourth player in MU history to have multiple 400-kill seasons.
Tuesday's matchup features Theis, a Milwaukee alumnus, making his first trip to the East Side as an opposing head coach. Theis was a member of the Milwaukee men's volleyball program when it dropped from varsity to club status and worked as a student assistant with then-associate head coach Susie Johnson in 1999-00 while completing his bachelor's degree.
"I am excited to go back to a place where I have a lot of great memories," Theis said. "Susie does a great job and I really enjoyed my time there with her and (former head coach) Kathy Litzau. They were really my introduction to the world of college volleyball. I had never worked with female athletes before and they were great role models. They did a great job of making sure it was a positive environment, which was one of the biggest things I have taken with me in my career."
Former Marquette AVCA All-American Nikki Klingsporn, who sits fifth in career assists at MU despite playing just two seasons, is in her third year as an assistant coach for the Panthers.
The Golden Eagles have won their last seven matches against Milwaukee with the last loss a four-set defeat on Oct. 17, 2007 at the Klotsche Center.
For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
at MILWAUKEE [14-10 (8-2 Horizon) | MKEPanthers.com | @MKE_Volleyball]: The Panthers have won eight of their last 10 matches after entering Horizon League action at 6-8 overall. Senior outside hitter Julie Kolinske leads Milwaukee with 4.06 kills per set and is hitting .260 on the season. Kolinske hit .351 and landed 18 kills in a sweep of Green Bay in the Panthers' last contest at Green Bay on Friday evening and has averaged 3.42 kills per set in four previous meetings with MU. Junior setter Kayla Price paces the Milwaukee offense with 11.24 assists per frame. Series History: UWM leads 46-29-1.
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; Oct. 26 - No. 27; Nov. 3 - No. 21
• 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 (two points) in the latest AVCA Coaches 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 welcome St. John's and Providence to the Al McGuire Center for matches on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. All individuals who show a used ticket stub from Saturday's men's basketball exhibition opener against Wisconsin Lutheran will receive free admission to the match against the Friars at the Al. Friday's contest features a burrito eating contest for all Marquette fraternities during the intermission between sets two and three.
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