Golden Eagles Face Creighton Friday in NCAA Tournament :: MU plays Friday at 4:30 p.m. in Minneapolis Golden Eagles Face Creighton Friday in NCAA Tournament

Nov. 28, 2012

Marquette Volleyball (27-6, 13-2 BIG EAST)
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2012 NCAA Championship - First/Second Rounds
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vs. No. 21 Creighton (28-3, 17-1 Missouri Valley)
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Friday, Nov. 30
Sports Pavilion
Minneapolis, Minn.
4:30 p.m.

vs. (8) No. 11 Minnesota/Liberty 
Saturday, Dec. 1
Sports Pavilion
Minneapolis, Minn.
6 p.m.

MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball team has earned an at-large selection to the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship for the second-consecutive season and will face Missouri Valley Conference champion Creighton in the first round on Friday, Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m. in Minneapolis, Minn., at the Sports Pavilion.

The Golden Eagles (27-6) finished as the BIG EAST Conference Championship runner-up, falling to then-No. 10 Louisville in the title match of the league tournament on Nov. 18. It was the first championship match appearance for Marquette since it joined the league in 2005.

No. 21 Creighton (28-3) enters the matchup as winners of its last 16 matches, and won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament championships for the first time in program history in 2012.

The Golden Eagles made their first NCAA appearance in 2011, defeating No. 24 Western Kentucky, 3-1, in the first round before falling to eventual national runner-up Illinois in the second.

Friday’s match and a potenial second round clash with eighth-seeded Minnesota or Liberty, will feature a live video stream courtesy of GopherSports.com, as well as live statistics through GameTracker. For additional coverage, follow Marquette volleyball on Twitter (@MarquetteVB).

NCAA Championship Notes
• Marquette is making its second NCAA Championship appearance.
• The Golden Eagles made their first NCAA appearance in 2011, defeating No. 24 Western Kentucky, 3-1, in the first round before falling to eventual national runner-up Illinois in the second.
Danielle Carlson led the Golden Eagles with 11 kills against Illinois in the second round, averaging 3.14 kills per set in both matches, while hitting a combined .414 (21-4-41).
Holly Mertens posted averages of 2.57 kills and 1.29 blocks against WKU and Illinois, while libero Julie Jeziorowski averaged 5.71 digs per frame.
• Marquette head coach Bond Shymansky is making the fifth NCAA trip of his career. It is also the third time he has coached a team in Minneapolis during the NCAA tournament.

SCOUTING THE COMPETITION:

No. 21 CREIGHTON [28-3 (17-1 MVC) | GoCreighton.com | @CreightonVB]: The Bluejays are led by MVC Player of the Year and tournament most valuable player Megan Bober, who paces the squad at setter with 9.62 assists, 3.00 digs, 1.90 kills and 0.99 blocks per set. Bober is joined by fellow All-MVC First Team picks Kelli Browning and Melanie Jereb, the former of whom earned MVC Defensive Player of the Year honors this season. It is only the second NCAA appearance for Creighton, which topped Iowa State in the first round in 2010 before falling to host-Minnesota in the second round. Creighton holds a 3-1 lead in the series with the Golden Eagles. The Bluejays won the first three meetings in 1980, 2005 and 2010 before Marquette swept Creighton last year in Omaha. Series history: CU leads 3-1.

POSSIBLE SECOND ROUND OPPONENTS:

No. 11 MINNESOTA [24-7 (15-5 Big Ten) | GopherSports.com | @GopherVBall]: Minnesota earned the No. 8 national seed after tying for second place in the Big Ten. Senior outside hitter Katherine Harms and junior middle blocker Tori Dixon were unanimous All-Big Ten selections after leading the Gophers in kills (4.13/set) and blocks (1.03), respectively. Coached by former United States men’s and women’s Olympic volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon, Minnesota owns seven top-25 victories in 2012. Led last season by current associate head coach and former Marquette head coach Laura (Farina) Bush, the Gophers fell in the regional semifinals to Iowa State. Minnesota topped MU in five sets in the last meeting between the two teams on Sept. 18, 2011 in Milwaukee. The Golden Eagles had led 2-1 in that match after winning the third set 29-27 as former MU All-American Ciara Jones landed a career-high 24 kills. Series history: U-M leads 7-2.

LIBERTY [25-7 (12-2 Big South) | LibertyFlames.com | @LibertyVball]: The Lady Flames are making their seventh NCAA appearance in 2012 after they claimed the Big South tournament title for the second year in a row after defeating Coastal Carolina on Nov. 18. The Lady Flames are currently riding a 10-match winning streak and redshirt freshman Caroline Douglas leads the team with 3.68 kills per set. Liberty lost in the first round of the 2011 NCAA tournament to Penn State. Series history: MU and Liberty have never met.

West Lafayette Regional

Nov. 30-Dec. 1   at University Park. Pa.
No. 1 Penn State (29-2) vs. Binghamton (13-17)
Yale (18-5) vs. Bowling Green (21-10)

Nov. 30-Dec. 1   at Lexington, Ky.
Ohio St. (22-10) vs. Notre Dame (20-9)
No. 16 Kentucky (20-10) vs. East Tenn. St. (23-12)

Nov. 30-Dec. 1   at Tallahassee, Fla.
No. 9 Florida State (27-3) vs. Hofstra (21-13)
Colorado St. (21-7) vs. Purdue (21-10)

Nov. 30-Dec. 1   at Minneapolis, Minn.
Marquette (27-6) vs. Creighton (28-3)
No. 8 Minnesota (24-7) vs. Liberty (25-7)

GOLDEN EAGLES ARE BIG EAST RUNNER-UP: Marquette fell to Louisville in the finals of the BIG EAST Championship on Nov. 18 at the Al McGuire Center. Senior middle hitter Danielle Carlson and junior setter Elizabeth Koberstein earned all-tournament honors for their play over the weekend. Carlson and Koberstein, both All-BIG EAST First Team selections, helped the Golden Eagles advance to their first BIG EAST title contest with wins over Pittsburgh and USF in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

QUICK HITS/RECENT PROGRAM HISTORY:
• Marquette’s 27 victories sets a program record in NCAA Division I play, dating back to the 1986 campaign. Its 13 BIG EAST wins sets a new program standard. MU is 17-5 at home and 10-1 away from the Al McGuire Center.
• 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.
• Seniors Danielle Carlson and Holly Mertens and junior Elizabeth Koberstein were named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. Mertens was one of three unanimous first team selections along with conference player of the year Lola Arslanbekova of Louisville and Cincinnati’s Jordanne Scott.
• 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), as has their overall win total (18, 23, 24, 27).
• Marquette is receiving 26 points in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll (Nov. 19), five spots outside the top 25.
• Junior Julie Jeziorowski is the Marquette career record holder with 1,631 digs. Jeziorowski passed former AVCA All-American Jamie Mueller (1,567) on Nov. 17 against USF. Her 2011 (638) and 2012 (585) totals are the two highest single-season dig marks in program history.
• The Golden Eagles advanced to their first-ever BIG EAST Championship match where they fell to then-No. 10 Louisville on Sunday, Nov. 18. The championship match appearance was only the second in program history for MU. The Golden Eagles also advanced to the Conference USA final in 2004 where they were swept by Louisville (2004 was also the last season for both the Cardinals and Golden Eagles in C-USA).
• 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.

SHYMANSKY'S NCAA TOURNAMENT SUCCESS
Although Marquette never made an NCAA tournament appearance prior to last season’s trip to the second round, head coach Bond Shymansky is no stranger to the NCAAs. The fourth-year MU coach reached the Elite Eight in 2003 and the Sweet 16 in 2004 at Georgia Tech and is 7-4 in four 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.

Georgia Tech (2002-08)
2002 Stanford Regional (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Dec. 5 vs. Florida A&M (W, 3-0) 30-21, 30-27, 30-17
Dec. 6 at No. 7 Minnesota (L, 3-1) 28-30, 29-31, 30-26, 28-30

2003 Honolulu Regional (Atlanta, Ga./Honolulu, Hawaii)
Dec. 4 Alabama A&M (W, 3-0) 30-18, 30-17, 30-22
Dec. 5 Florida A&M (W, 3-0) 30-25, 24-32, 30-25
Dec. 12 vs. No. 7 California (W, 3-1) 30-25, 20-30, 30-24, 30-23
Dec. 13 at No. 2 Hawai’i (L, 3-1) 34-32, 31-33, 24-30, 25-30

2004 Minneapolis Regional (Atlanta, Ga./Minneapolis, Minn.)
Dec. 3 Georgia (W, 3-0) 30-21, 30-21, 31-29
Dec. 4 No. 13 UCSB (W, 3-0) 30-24, 30-28, 30-21
Dec. 10 No. 4 Minnesota (L, 3-2) 30-25, 22-30, 24-30, 48-46, 9-15

Marquette (2009-Present)
2011 Gainesville Regional (Champaign, Ill.)
Dec. 2 Western Kentucky (W, 3-1) 25-21, 22-25, 26-24, 25-23
Dec. 3 No. 3 Illinois (L, 3-0) 13-25, 23-25, 22-25

SINGLE SEASON - RECORD WATCH
• Junior setter Elizabeth Koberstein is fourth on MU’s single-season assist list with 1,414.
Kelsey Mattai and Danielle Carlson have 111 and 110 block assists, respectively, in 2012. Mattai is second and Carlson third on the single season list.
• Sophomore Lindsey Gosh’s 50 service aces in 2012 put her eighth on MU’s single-season list.
• Junior libero Julie Jeziorowski’s 585 digs in 2012 are second in program history to her 2011 total of 638.
• Carlson and Mertens are hitting .400 and .336, respectively, and rank second and fifth in program history (minimum of 500 attempts).

CAREER - RECORD WATCH
• Carlson (.359) is Marquette’s all-time leader in hitting percentage while Mertens ranks third (.290) (minimum of 1,000 attempts).
• Jeziorowski is first at MU with 1,414 career digs.
• Carlson is 10th in program history with 1,048 kills.

2012 HONORS AND AWARDS
All-BIG EAST First Team
Danielle Carlson
Elizabeth Koberstein
Holly Mertens

Captial One Academic All-District
Danielle Carlson

Senior CLASS Award nominee
Danielle Carlson

BIG EAST Player of the Week
Nov. 5 - Holly Mertens
Oct. 29 - Danielle Carlson
Oct. 1 - Holly Mertens

BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll
Nov. 12 - Holly Mertens
Oct. 22 - Holly Mertens
Oct. 15 - Danielle Carlson
Oct. 8 - Kelsey Mattai
Sept. 24 - Elizabeth Koberstein
Sept. 17 - Danielle Carlson
Sept. 3 - Elizabeth Koberstein

Collegiate Volleyball Update - National Player of the Week
Nov. 6 - Holly Mertens

Collegiate Volleyball Update - Weekly Honor Roll
Oct. 2 - Holly Mertens

All-Marquette Invitational
Danielle Carlson

All-Ambassador Hotel Golden Eagle Classic (tournament champions)
Danielle Carlson (MVP)
Julie Jeziorowski
Elizabeth Koberstein

All-Xavier Invitational (tournament champions)
Elizabeth Koberstein (MVP)
Danielle Carlson
Lindsey Gosh

All-Marquette Challenge
Danielle Carlson
Erin Lehman