No. 4 Marquette Travels to the BIG EAST Tournament

Setter Sara Blasier
Nov. 25, 2015

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MILWAUKEE-The Marquette University women's volleyball team is set to open the 2015 BIG EAST Tournament on Friday, Nov. 27 in Omaha, Nebraska. The No. 4 seed Golden Eagles will face No. 1 seed, and host, Creighton University in the semifinals at 12:30 p.m. Central time on the BIG EAST Digital Network via FOX Sports Go. Brad Burwell and Erin Russell will call the action live from D.J. Sokol Arena.

Saturday's final will air live on FS2 with Bob Brainerd on play-by-play and Michelle Griffin-Wenzel as the analyst.

Marquette earned the fourth seed after finishing the conference season with a 12-6 mark in BIG EAST play and owns a 21-10 record in 2015. The Golden Eagles are led by redshirt freshman Taylor Louis, who was unanimously named to the all-conference first team earlier this week. Louis is averaging 4.86 kills per set, which leads the conference and ranks fifth nationally, and has 540 total this season, third most in a season for an MU player. She also averages 2.26 digs per set. Redshirt junior Meghan Niemann and redshirt freshman Jenna Rosenthal have helped anchor MU's defense with 1.00 and 1.14 blocks per set, respectively this season. Niemann earned her third straight First Team All-BIG EAST award and led the league with a .382 hitting percentage in conference matches.

Creighton won its second straight BIG EAST regular season title this year after finishing with a 17-1 league record, with the lone loss coming at Villanova. The Bluejays have won 18 of their last 19 matches and are the defending BIG EAST Tournament champions.

The Bluejays are 8-3 all-time against Marquette, including a 5-1 mark in regular-season BIG EAST play, and owns a 3-2 all-time record against MU at D.J. Sokol Arena. Last time the Golden Eagles played Creighton in the BIG EAST Tournament they were victorious with a 3-1 win in Omaha in the 2013 finals. Creighton has won the last four meetings, including a pair of 3-0 sweeps this season.

Villanova (No. 2 seed) and Xavier (No. 3 seed) will meet in the second semifinal, slated to begin at 3 p.m. CT.

Live stats will be available at gocreighton.com with additional updates on the Marquette Twitter account @MarquetteVB.

MARQUETTE QUICK HITS:
• RPI Update: Oct. 5- No. 25 | Oct. 12- No. 36 | Oct. 19- No. 33 | Oct. 26- No. 27 | Nov. 2- No. 24 | Nov. 9- No. 29 |
Nov. 17- No. 34 | Nov. 23- No. 36

BIG EAST HONORS: Redshirt freshman Taylor Louis and redshirt junior Meghan Niemann were selected to the 2015 First Team All-BIG EAST Conference team earlier this week. Louis was a unanimous selection to the first team and earns her first all-conference award after she led Marquette and the BIG EAST with 4.86 kills per game and 540 total kills, which is the third-most kills in a season by an MU player. She also recorded a league-best 5.27 points per set and was the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week once, while earning five BIG EAST Freshman of the Week awards.
The Skokie, Ill. native tallied 20-or-more kills in 11 matches this season, with one 30-kill match in a victory at Missouri State in September. She also recorded nine double-doubles and had just four matches that she did not reach double digits in kills.
Niemann picks up her third straight first team all-conference honor after averaging a team-high .335 hitting percentage overall and a league-leading .382 clip, with just 15 total errors in BIG EAST Conference matches. The Jackson, Wis. native is averaging 1.00 blocks per set, but has 1.17 blocks in league play, which is fifth overall, and has 111 total blocks in 2015. She was named BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week twice this season.

• Marquette has had a player earn a conference weekly award each week this season: Aug. 31: Taylor Louis (FotW) Meghan Niemann (PotW) | Sept. 7: Taylor Louis (Honor Roll) | Sept. 14: Taylor Louis (Honor Roll) | Sept. 21: Taylor Louis (FotW) | Sept. 28: Joy Miley (Honor Roll) | Oct. 5: Lauren Houg (Honor Roll) | Oct. 12: Meghan Niemann (Honor Roll) | Oct. 19: Taylor Louis (PotW/FotW) | Oct. 26: Taylor Louis (FotW) Sara Blasier (Honor Roll) | Nov. 2: Taylor Louis (FotW) Meghan Niemann (Honor Roll) | Nov. 9: Meghan Niemann (Honor Roll) | Nov. 16: Meghan Niemann (PotW)

Taylor Louis continues to be one of the best hitters in the country. She is averaging 4.86 kills per set, which leads the BIG EAST and ranks fifth in the NCAA, while Lauren Houg is second the league with 5.10 digs per set and sits 24th in the country.

Lauren Houg reached 1,000 career-digs on Oct. 26 against Milwaukee. The junior became the eighth person in program history to reach that milestone and currently ranks fifth on Marquette's all-time digs list with 1,134 career digs. In that match against Milwaukee, Houg collected 24 digs, which is the highest output in three sets by a BIG EAST player this year. Houg has 566 total digs this season, which surpassed the 563 digs that she totaled last season and is the third on the season digs list. The record is 638 set by Julie Jeziorowski in 2011.

Taylor Louis' 540 kills this season is third on MU's season kills list, just four away from Kimberly Todd who recorded 544 kills in 2006. The season record for kills is 576, which was set by Autumn Bailey in 2014. Louis has 1,445 total attacks this season, which broke the season record of 1,375 previously set by Ashley Beyer in 2011.

• The Golden Eagles lead the league with 17.57 digs per set, which is 10th in the NCAA and totaled a season-high 96 at St. John's on Nov. 14. MU is ranked second in hitting percentage (.250), assists, dishing out 12.95, while also second with 13.85 kills per set. The Golden Eagles are holding opponents to just a .183 hitting percentage.

• Four different MU players have tallied double-doubles this season. Sara Blasier has recorded a team-leading 12: (8/28 vs. North Dakota, 8/29 vs. Dayton, 9/4 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/19 vs. IUPUI, 9/30 vs. Butler, 10/16 vs. Providence, 10/24 vs. Villanova, 10/26 vs. Milwaukee, Oct. 31 at DePaul, 11/14 at St. John's, 11/20 at Butler, 11/21 at Xavier), Taylor Louis has tallied nine (9/4 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/5 vs. Miami, 9/18 vs. Wichita State, 9/19 vs. Albany, 10/2 at Villanova, 10/16 vs. Providence, 10/23 vs. Seton Hall, 11/6 vs. Creighton, 11/14 at St. John's), while Lauren Houg (9/30 vs. Butler) and Mary Nilles (9/12 vs. Northern Colorado) have each posted one.

The Last Meeting
Creighton3
Marquette0
November 6, 2015
Al McGuire Center
Golden Eagles Drop Straight Sets to Creighton
A six-match winning streak came to an end on Friday evening as the Marquette University women's volleyball team fell in straight sets, 27-25, 25-19, 25-19 to first-place Creighton at the Al McGuire Center.


 

 

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