Women's Volleyball

Golden Eagles Upset Syracuse, 3-1

Oct. 24, 2009

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MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's volleyball squad defeated Syracuse, 3-1 (25-15, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19), Saturday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center. The Golden Eagles (15-9, 4-5 BIG EAST) gave Syracuse (18-6, 7-2 BIG EAST) only its second BIG EAST loss of the season after defeating Green Bay Wednesday evening.

"It was a big win for our program," said head coach Bond Shymansky. "A nice continuation of positive momentum for our team. It just goes to show that we clearly haven't given up on what we are doing and what we are after. What I told the team at the beginning of the year was that we are going to be the team in the BIG EAST, that by the end of the year, nobody is going to want to play. You can see that starting to unfold."

Ashley Beyer once again led MU with 18 kills, while freshman Danielle Carlson and sophomore Ciara Jones, each hammered home 12. Junior setter Nikki Klingsporn recorded her second-straight double-double with 51 assists and 14 digs. At libero, senior Hailey Viola recorded a season-high 19 digs.

"I like the confidence we have as a team. I like some of the younger players coming on now and showing up big. We are going to need that consistent and balanced attack, as well as great defense. Over the past month Beyer has been really good. You can just see her confidence level and her understanding of what she needs to do. I think her teammates are finally learning how to thrive off her ability as well. I see her trying to inspire others around her to play better. I think it is a good sign for the future of our program," Shymansky said.

Marquette used a 7-0 run in the early stages of the first set to increase its lead to 9-3 and the Golden Eagles never let the Orange within more than six throughout the frame. Carlson, who recorded a career-high 12 kills, landed five kills in the first frame. The Golden Eagles ran away with a 25-15 victory, restricting Syracuse to a .000 attack percentage.

MU took its first lead of the second stanza after two acrobatic digs from the back row by Viola to put MU up one, 21-20. From there, the Golden Eagles and Orange tied the score twice before Marquette captured the game point off a block from freshman Kelsey Mattai and Jones. MU finished the set 25-22 to put the Orange behind 2-0 going into intermission.

Unlike the first two sets, Syracuse controlled much of the third frame, as MU committed eight attack errors and could not defend a strong Syracuse front line. Ashley Beyer led the Golden Eagles with eight kills, but that would not be enough to quiet the Orange. After trailing 23-17, MU launched an impressive 6-1 run to put it within one at 24-23. During that span, Beyer recorded four kills and one service ace, but Syracuse responded and ended the game off an MU attack error, 25-23.

Jones and Mattai recorded five and four kills, respectively, to keep MU alive throughout the fourth set. Marquette could not claim a significant lead until kills by Carlson, Beyer and Mattai advanced MU to a 17-10 lead late in the fourth set. Three consecutive attack errors by Marquette put the visitors within five, but the Golden Eagles responded with a kill from Mattai for a 25-19 MU victory.

The victory was Shymansky's 100th career conference victory.

"Our mantra right now is 'three weeks of greatness for three days of championship,'" Shymansky said. "That was a good first week under our belt and now we have two weeks to go and a lot ahead of us with three of the best teams in the league to play (Cincinnati, Louisville, Notre Dame), in a row."

The Golden Eagles return to action Fri., Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT at Cincinnati before playing Louisville on Sunday.

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