Golden Eagles Face WKU Friday in NCAA Tournament

Ciara Jones and MU practiced at Huff Hall Thursday afternoon.

Dec. 1, 2011

NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship - First/Second Rounds
Huff Hall (Champaign, Ill.)

Match Notes (PDF): 
2011 Week 15 Get Acrobat Reader
Shymansky Media Availability: Listen (.mp3)

NCAA First Round
vs. Western Kentucky (31-3)
- Friday, Dec. 2, 4:30 p.m.
Live Stats | Live Video

MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team has earned an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship for the first time in program history and will face Sun Belt Conference Champion Western Kentucky in the first round on Friday, Dec. 2 at 4:30 p.m. in Champaign, Ill.

Should MU advance it would face the winner of No. 3 Illinois/Central Michigan in the second round Saturday at 7 p.m. Saturday's second round contest is tentatively scheduled to be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

WKU holds the lone victory in the series, a 3-0 sweep in the Marquette Challenge on Sept. 4, 2004 at the Al McGuire Center.

Marquette Women's Volleyball Quick Hits

  • First NCAA Championship appearance
  • Program founded in 1975, moved to NCAA Division I for the 1986 season.
  • Marquette advanced to the BIG EAST Conference semifinals for the second-straight year before falling to eventual tournament champion Cincinnati in five. MU opened conference play 10-0 before finishing with a program-best mark of 12-2, while tying for second place in the regular season standings, also a program record in BIG EAST play.
  • MU's 46 wins over the last two years are a program record for a two-year span since joining NCAA Division I in 1986. The Golden Eagles have recorded back-to-back 20-win campaigns for the first time in Division I.
  • Head coach Bond Shymansky was named the 2011 BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year. He is 64-31 in his three-year tenure at MU and 236-85 overall. Shymansky entered 2011 with the 20th-best active winning percentage among NCAA Division I coaches (.715).
  • Freshman setter Chelsea Heier was named the 2011 BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Year. She leads the BIG EAST and is seventh in the nation with 11.90 assists per set. Heier was also named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team.
  • Marquette had four players earn All-BIG EAST mention led by first team members senior outside hitter Ciara Jones and junior middle Danielle Carlson. Heier and senior outside Ashley Beyer were named second team all-conference.
  • Jones and Beyer lead MU with 3.57 and 3.36 kills per set, respectively. They became the 10th (Beyer, Georgetown (Nov. 7)) and 11th (Jones, Rutgers (Oct. 23)) players in program history to notch 1,000 career kills.
  • Carlson leads the BIG EAST and is 20th in the nation with a hitting percentage of .383. She is first on MU's all-time list with a mark of .336.
  • Sophomore libero Julie Jeziorowski's 598 digs are a Marquette single-season record. She became the sixth player in program history to reach the 1,000-dig plateau on Nov. 26 at Northern Illinois and has 1,006 in her career.

Gainesville Regional

Dec. 2-3                at Champaign, Ill.
No. 3 Illinois (27-4) vs. Central Mich. (19-13)
Marquette (23-10) vs. Western Ky. (31-3)

Dec. 1-2                at Knoxville, Tenn.
Ohio St. (19-14) vs. Middle Tenn. (21-11)
Duke (21-8) vs. No. 14 Tennessee (27-3)

Dec. 2-3                at Stanford, Calif.
No. 11 Stanford (21-7) vs. Sacred Heart (27-7)
Baylor (18-14) vs. Michigan (20-12)

Dec. 2-3                at Cedar Falls, Iowa
Florida (24-5) vs. Missouri (21-12)
Niagara (25-8) vs. No. 6 UNI (32-1)

Possible Second Round Opponents

No. 3 Illinois (27-4, 16-4 Big Ten)
Third-seeded Illinois tied for second in the Big Ten Conference with a 16-4 record and earned its first-ever No. 1 national ranking this season by the AVCA. The Illini are 14-1 at Huff Hall in 2011 with their last loss coming against Minnesota, 3-0, on Oct. 29. Senior outside hitter Michelle Bartsch leads U of I with 3.86 kills per set and is second on the squad with 3.32 digs. Third-year head coach Kevin Hambly has led the Illini to the Sweet 16 in each of his first two seasons in Champaign.

Central Michigan (19-13, 8-8 Mid-American)
The Chippewas swept through the MAC tournament by defeating the top three seeds to claim the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, their first in program history. CMU is led by freshman Kaitlyn McIntyre's 3.25 kills per set, while senior middle Kaitlyn Schultz hits .414 with averages of 3.13 kills and 0.95 blocks. Marquette swept CMU on Aug. 27 in the Hawkeye Challenge.

Shymansky's NCAA Tournament Success
Although Marquette has never made an NCAA tournament appearance, head coach Bond Shymansky is no stranger to the NCAAs. The third-year MU coach reached the Elite Eight in 2003 and the Sweet 16 in 2004 at Georgia Tech and is 6-3 in three trips to the dance. Shymansky also helped the Yellow Jackets advance to the second round of the tournament in 2002. His 2004 squad lost to national finalist Minnesota in the regional semifinal, 3-2, but won the fourth set in that contest, 48-46, the most points ever scored in an NCAA game.




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