Volleyball Looks to Clinch BIG EAST Tourney Berth
Nov. 7, 2013
MARQUETTE VOLLEYBALL (17-5, 9-1 BIG EAST)
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team returns home to the Al McGuire Center this weekend to welcome Seton Hall and St. John's on Friday, Nov. 8 and Sunday, Nov. 10, respectively.
The Golden Eagles (17-5, 9-1 BIG EAST) took a two-match lead on the rest of the BIG EAST Conference with a pair of victories last weekend at Butler and Xavier. Marquette topped the Bulldogs on Friday evening, though Butler snapped a streak of 14-straight set victories for MU with a 27-25 third set win. Freshman outside hitter Nele Barber led the way for Marquette with at least 20 kills in both contests, an average of 5.38 per set, including a career-high 23 in the win at Butler. Barber earned her second conference freshman of the week honor Monday.
A trio of Golden Eagles also continued to climb Marquette's all-time lists over the weekend. Senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein moved into fifth place at MU with 106 assists in the two matches, upping her Marquette total to 2,392 in just under two seasons in Milwaukee. Senior libero Julie Jeziorowski added to her program digs record with a season-high 30 at Xavier to make her the first player at Marquette with over 2,000 digs in her career (2,008). Senior Rachel Stier is now ninth all-time at MU with 978 digs and can become the seventh player to reach 1,000 with 22 more.
Live statistics through GameTracker will be available for both matches, while a free, live video stream can be accessed on GoMarquette.com for Sunday's match against the Red Storm.
For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:
SETON HALL [12-13 (3-7 BIG EAST) | RPI: 96 | SHUPirates.com | @SHUVolley]: Don't expect a quick match on Friday evening against the Pirates as six of the previous seven meetings between MU and Seton Hall have gone the full five sets. Marquette won the last meeting, 3-2, on Oct. 13, 2012 at Seton Hall, but swept the Pirates in the last contest at the Al McGuire Center in the quarterfinals of the 2011 BIG EAST tournament. The Pirates are led by preseason all-conference selection Shelbey Manthorpe's 8.69 assists per set, while twin sister Stacey leads SHU with 2.51 kills per frame at outside hitter. Series history: MU leads 5-3.
ST. JOHN'S [15-11 (4-6 BIG EAST) | RPI: 133 | RedStormSports.com | @StJohnsVB]: The Red Storm is coming off a shocking five-set victory at Creighton on Friday, Nov. 1 and will play at DePaul on Friday afternoon before making the trek to Milwaukee. Reigning-BIG EAST Player of the Week Yaidy Santiago led St. John's to the win over the Bluejays with her first career double-double of 15 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Karin Palgutova leads the BIG EAST and the Red Storm with 4.43 kills and 4.99 points per set on the year. Port Huron, Mich., native Amy Zimmer leads St. John's with 1.14 blocks per set to rank fifth in the league. MU hasn't lost to the Red Storm since 2007 and is a perfect 4-0 against St. John's under Bond Shymansky. Series history: MU leads 5-3.
JEZIOROWSKI FIRST TO 2,000 CAREER DIGS: Senior libero and team captain Julie Jeziorowski became the first player in program history to break the 2,000-dig plateau on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Xavier. The Crystal Lake, Ill., native broke Marquette's all-time mark last season during the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship at the Al McGuire Center against South Florida (Nov. 17). She currently leads the Golden Eagles and ranks fifth in the BIG EAST with 4.53 digs per set in 2013.
AVCA NAMES MARQUETTE TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HOST WATCH LIST: The American Volleyball Coaches Association named Marquette as one of 33 teams on its 2013 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship First and Second Round Host Watch List. To be included on the list teams must either be ranked in the AVCA Coaches Poll or among the top 25 teams in either the Pablo or NCAA RPI rankings. MU is ranked 11th in RPI as of Nov. 4.
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. Online donations can be made via MU's Side-Out Foundation profile at http://go.mu.edu/DigPink.
QUICK HITS/RECENT PROGRAM HISTORY:
The Golden Eagles are ranked 11th in the NCAA Division I RPI Rankings (Nov. 4). Marquette is the only school to currently have men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball all ranked in the top 11 of the RPI.
Senior defensive specialist Rachel Stier is ninth in MU history with 978 digs and can become the seventh Marquette player to reach 1,000.
Elizabeth Koberstein is fifth in Marquette history in assists with 2,392 in just under two years with the program.
Marquette was picked second in the 2013 BIG EAST Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll for the second-straight season and senior setter Elizabeth Koberstein was named preseason co-player of the year.
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.
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: Marquette faces Seton Hall and St. John's on Nov. 15-17 on the East Coast. The Golden Eagles play at Seton Hall on Friday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. Central time before finishing up their road trip at St. John's on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. CT.