Marquette Opens 2012 BIG EAST Championship Friday vs. Pitt

Holly Mertens was named to the BIG EASTall-tournament team in 2011 and looks to cap her five years at MU with a title.

Nov. 14, 2012

Marquette Volleyball (24-5, 13-2 BIG EAST)
Marquette Notes (PDF) Get Acrobat Reader | BIG EAST Championship Home | Ticket Information

vs. No. 7 Pittsburgh (17-13, 7-8 BIG EAST)
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BIG EAST Quarterfinal
Friday, Nov. 16
Al McGuire Center
6 p.m.

vs. No. 3 Notre Dame/No. 6 USF
Watch Live Twitter (@MarquetteVB)
BIG EAST Semifinal
Saturday, Nov. 17
Al McGuire Center
3:30 p.m.

BIG EAST Championship Match
TV: ESPNU/ Twitter (@MarquetteVB)
Sunday, Nov. 18
Al McGuire Center
1 p.m.

MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team hosts Pittsburgh at the Al McGuire Center on Friday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. in a quarterfinal match of the 2012 BIG EAST Conference Women's Volleyball Championship. The Golden Eagles (24-5, 13-2 BIG EAST), who host the league tournament for the third time in program history and the second year in a row, earned the No. 2 seed with a victory over Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon and will face the seventh-seeded Panthers.

Friday's quarterfinals begin at 10 a.m. at the Al, with Saturday's semifinal matches being contested at 1 and 3:30 p.m. The championship match is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. with live coverage on ESPNU. Sam Gore (play-by-play) and Kelli Tennant (analyst) will call the title match.

All quarterfinal and semifinal contests feature a live, streaming video broadcast as well as live statistics through GameTracker. Marquette graduates Kyle Dlabay and 2011 AVCA All-American Ciara Jones will handle the call for Friday and Saturday. For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).

2012 BIG EAST Championship schedule:

Quarterfinals, Friday, Nov. 16
Match 1: No. 4 Connecticut vs. No. 5 Cincinnati, 10 a.m. CT
Match 2: No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 8 St. John's, 12:30 p.m. CT
Match 3: No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 6 USF,  3:30 p.m. CT
Match 4: No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 7 Pittsburgh, 6 p.m. CT

Semifinals, Saturday, Nov. 17
Match 5: Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner, 1 p.m. CT
Match 6: Match 3 Winner vs. Match 4 Winner, 3:30 p.m. CT

Championship, Sunday, Nov. 18 (ESPNU)
Match 7: Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner, 1 p.m. CT

PITTSBURGH [17-13 (7-8 BIG EAST) |@PittVolleyball] The Panthers played their way into the conference tournament with wins in three of their final four league contests to finish 7-8 in the BIG EAST. Sophomore outside hitter Jessica Wynn leads the way for Pitt with 2.58 kills per set, while senior libero Margy Action sits sixth in the BIG EAST with 4.92 digs per set. Friday's match will be the third time the Golden Eagles have faced the Panthers in the conference quarterfinals, with MU coming out victorious in both 2006 and 2011. Marquette previously defeated Pitt, 3-1, on Oct. 5 this season as Kelsey Mattai led the way for MU with 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .857 (12-0-14). The Panthers were originally scheduled to host this year's tournament. Series history: Pitt leads 6-5.

GOLDEN EAGLES EARN BIG EAST NO. 2 SEED: Marquette's sweep of Notre Dame on Nov. 11 clinched the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, the highest seed MU has ever earned. The Golden Eagles are 3-4 all-time in the BIG EAST Championship and have advanced to the semifinals three times since joining the league in 2005, including each of the last two seasons. MU lost a heartbreaker to Cincinnati in last year's semifinal after going up 2-0 to begin the match. Three of Marquette's four losses in the conference tournament have come at the hands of Louisville, this year's No. 1 seed, and the only BIG EAST opponent to defeat the Golden Eagles in 2012. Tickets to the three-day event can be purchased at or at the Al McGuire Center box office.

MERTENS COLLECTS FOURTH WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONOR: Holly Mertens picked up her fourth conference weekly honor of the season on Monday when she was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll after helping MU to a sweep of Notre Dame. The Stanley, Wis., native averaged 4.00 kills per set in a loss at Louisville Friday and in Sunday's victory over the Fighting Irish. The right-side hitter led Marquette in both contests with 13 kills and 11 kills, respectively.

Mertens has also earned league player of the week honors twice this season, most recently as Nov. 5, and leads the conference in BIG EAST-only hitting percentage at .414 (228-58-411).

• Marquette's 24 victories ties a program record (2011) and its 13 BIG EAST wins sets a new program standard.
• Senior Danielle Carlson is the 12th player in MU history with 1,000 kills in her career. Carlson landed her 1,000th kill on match-point as MU defeated Notre Dame (Nov. 11) on Senior Day.
• The Golden Eagles' BIG EAST record has improved each year under Shymansky (2009: 6-8; 2010: 11-3; 2011: 12-2; 2012: 13-2).
• The Golden Eagles are 14-4 at home and 10-1 away from the Al McGuire Center.
• Marquette is receiving 38 points in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll (Nov. 12). It sits four spots outside the top 25.
• The Golden Eagles are ranked No. 33 in the NCAA Division I Ratings Percentage Index rankings, released on Nov. 12. It is their highest rank of the campaign.
• Junior Julie Jeziorowski (1,547 digs) moved past Erin Freer (1,405) and sits second on MU's career digs list. She is 20 digs away from the program record of 1,567 set by Jamie Mueller (2003-06).
• Marquette has a pair of BIG EAST individual statistical leaders in Danielle Carlson (.385 hitting pct. - 22nd in NCAA), Elizabeth Koberstein (11.67 assists/set - 10th in NCAA). MU leads the BIG EAST in team hitting percentage (.280) and is second in assists per set (13.26) and kills per set (14.13).
• MU raised over $5,300 for the Side-Out Foundation's Dig Pink initiative during October, the most it has ever raised.
• Marquette was picked second in the BIG EAST Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll. Carlson and Mertens were both All-BIG EAST Preseason Team selections.
• Six Marquette players have earned AVCA All-America honors over the last two years. MU's setter has earned the honor in 2010 (Nikki Klingsporn) and 2011 (Chelsea Heier). Carlson could become MU's first two-time AVCA All-American.
• Shymansky earned BIG EAST Conference and AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year honors in 2011, his second such awards after earning ACC and AVCA East Region honors in 2004.
• MU has won its last 34 BIG EAST regular season matches against opponents not named Cincinnati or Louisville (just 2-5 against the Bearcats and Cardinals over that stretch). The 34-match streak dates back to the opening weekend of 2010 when MU was without All-American outside hitter Ashley Beyer due to a shoulder injury.

UP NEXT: The Golden Eagles host Nothern Illinois at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24, the day prior to NCAA Selection Sunday.

2012 Honors and Awards:

Danielle Carlson
2012 Ambassador Hotel Golden Eagle Classic MVP
2012 All-Marquette Invitational
2012 All-Xavier Invitational
2012 All-Marquette Challenge
BIG EAST Player of the Week (Oct. 29)
BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Sept. 17, Oct. 15)

Lindsey Gosh
2012 All-Xavier Invitational

Julie Jeziorowski
2012 All-Ambassador Hotel Golden Eagle Classic

Elizabeth Koberstein
2012 Xavier Invitational MVP
2012 All-Ambassador Hotel Golden Eagle Classic
BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Sept. 3, Sept. 24)

Erin Lehman
2012 All-Marquette Challenge

Kelsey Mattai
BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Oct. 8)

Holly Mertens
BIG EAST Player of the Week (Oct. 1 and Nov. 5)
BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (Oct. 22 and Nov. 12)
Collegiate Volleyball Update - National Player of the Week (Nov. 6)
Collegiate Volleyball Update - Weekly Honor (Oct. 2)




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