Sept. 5, 2009
MILWAUKEE- Sophomore Ciara Jones recorded a career-high 16 kills to lead the Marquette University women's volleyball squad past Austin Peay, 3-1, Saturday night in the championship match of the Marquette Invitational.
Jones was named the tournament's most valuable player for her efforts, leading the team to a perfect 4-0 record at home over the weekend. Jones' explosive athleticism was on full display over the course of the tournament as she recorded 52 kills in the four matches, punishing many would-be defenders with ferocious attacks.
"We had great contributions from everybody," said head coach Bond Shymansky. "I thought our hitting executions, when we were on, were really dynamic. We had big contributions from a lot of players, so it was definitely a good weekend for us."
After giving up the first set to the Lady Governors, the Golden Eagles battled back and captured a four-set match victory (18-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-20).
Junior Leslie Bielski added 13 kills along with two solo blocks and freshman libero Kelsey Warner notched a career high with 19 digs.
After constant back-and-forth possessions early in the first set, Austin Peay's Stephanie Champine contributed two consecutive kills to give the Governors a 22-17 lead. Klingsporn connected with Gonyo at the next opportunity, giving Marquette its last point at 22-18 before Austin Peay closed out the first 25-18.
Down after dropping the first frame, the Golden Eagles came out swinging early in the second set. Austin Peay gained on MU after a service ace and a Golden Eagle error, putting APSU ahead 9-7. Holly Mertens responded by connecting with Klinsporn for a shot down the line, beginning a Golden Eagle run that would lead to a 25-21 second-set victory.
Mertens returned as a powerful weapon in the third set throwing down another four crucial kills.. The Golden Eagles did not let the Governors take the lead once in the third, and never let the deficit fall below two.
Austin Peay held its only lead of the fourth set during the first three possessions after two Marquette errors at the net. MU fought back, capitalizing on the next three possessions and never trailed again. Jones contributed six kills on ten attempts in the fourth, while Mertens and Bielski added two and five kills, respectively.
The Golden Eagles return to action Friday at the Panther Invitational when they take on Western Michigan at 11 a.m.
The Marquette Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP-Ciara Jones, OH, Marquette
Rabbecka Gonyo, MH, Marquette
Nikki Klingsporn, S, Marquette
Stephanie Champine, OH, Austin Peay
Kirstin Distler, OPP, Austin Peay
Jessica Wolfe, OH, Butler