Nov. 15, 2009
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MILWAUKEE - Head coach Bond Shymansky ended his first season in BIG EAST play with a victory, knocking off Villanova 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 27-25) Sunday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center.
"One of the things I felt like we did a great job of this year was learning how to assert ourselves over other teams that are in the same pack with us in the conference," Shymansky said. "It took us a while to figure it out, but once we did, we got a lot of 3-0 sweeps. Thats part of the mentality shift that we are trying to make within the program. Trying not just to win, but to dominate."
Sophomore Ashley Beyer led the Golden Eagles (17-12, 6-8 BIG EAST) with 17 kills. Beyer also recorded nine digs on the afternoon.
Freshman Kelsey Mattai also put in an impressive showing, hitting .667 (9-1-12) with six blocks and two assists.
Prior to the match, senior Hailey Viola was honored in a ceremony recognizing her career at Marquette. Viola recorded 12 digs during the match, vaulting her into ninth place in the Marquette record book with 955 career digs.
"Hailey has a strong work ethic and an aggressive mentality in competition," Shymansky said. "She has been a steady driving force of our turnaround season and will walk away from the program knowing that she helped change and shape the future success of Marquette volleyball."
After giving up the first point of the opening frame, Marquette never trailed for the remainder of the set. Beyer, who registered nine of her 17 kills on the day in the first stanza capitalized on her first seven attempts.
The Golden Eagles led by as many as five before Villanova took advantage of a few MU attack errors and brought the score within two at 10-8. From there, the Wildcats could not decrease the deficit. A Beyer kill closed out the set and gave MU a 25-19 victory.
Throughout the majority of the second set, neither team could maintain a solid lead. Mattai led MU at the net with three kills, while the Golden Eagles struggled offensively and recorded several ball handling and attack errors.
Back-to-back errors on Villanova gave Marquette a 25-21 win going into intermission.
Unlike the first two sets, the Wildcats took advantage of the third frame with impressive play by Krista Anderson, who recorded eight kills in the set. MU setter Nikki Klingsporn, who registered a double-double on the day with 38 assists and 12 digs, kept the Golden Eagles alive and tabbed six digs in the stanza.
Villanova led 19-16 going into the final points of the set but could not maintain the lead after MU sophomore Ciara Jones contributed four crucial kills in the final stretch.
The freshmen pair of Danielle Carlson and Mattai connected for a block to end the set and match with a 27-25 victory.
MU also honored the 1975 volleyball team, the first in school history, and the rest of its volleyball alumnae.
The Wildcats (16-13, 5-9 BIG EAST) were led by Krista Anderson with 12 kills and Maggie Mergen with 10.
Although the Golden Eagles did not qualify for the BIG EAST Conference Tournament this coming weekend, they will host one final match on Friday, Nov. 27 against Central Michigan at 7 p.m, at the Al McGuire Center.