Nov. 25, 2014
BIG EAST Release
NEW YORK - The BIG EAST Conference has named sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey of the Marquette University women's volleyball team as its player of the year, while Meghan Niemann and Lindsey Gosh each earned first team all-conference accolades, the league announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Bailey, the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year, posted league-best averages of 4.82 kills, 0.42 service aces and 5.60 points per set during the regular season and was the conference's player of the week five times during league play. She posted at least 20 kills in nine of MU's 18 BIG EAST regular season matches and accounted for 21 double-doubles on the year, with career bests of 30 kills and 25 digs in an Oct. 15 match at Butler.
The Burlington, Ontario, native averaged an incredible 5.71 kills and 6.56 points per set in conference matches, outpacing the league's No. 2 student-athlete in each category by more than one kill and almost a point and a half per set. She also ranked in the top 10 in the BIG EAST in hitting percentage (.281) and digs per set (3.76) in conference action.
On Saturday, Nov. 22, against DePaul she became the fastest MU player to reach the 1,000-kill plateau and was the first MU student-athlete to receive AVCA Division I National Player of the Week honors on Nov. 18. She currently ranks fifth in the NCAA in points per set and sixth in kills per frame.
Bailey was the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and a first team all-league selection in 2013 and also garnered AVCA East Coast Region Freshman of the Year and Honorable Mention All-America accolades as a rookie.
She is the second Marquette player in the last two seasons to claim the league's player of the year award after setter Elizabeth Koberstein also did so in 2013. The last sophomore to earn the honor was Miami's Valeria Tipiana in 2002 and the last player to take home freshman of the year and player of the year in consecutive campaigns was Pittsburgh's Ann Marie Lucanie in 1991.
Fellow BIG EAST All-Preseason Team picks Lindsey Gosh and Meghan Niemann also earned first team honors, with Gosh claiming a unanimous selection. Gosh was a 2013 All-BIG EAST Second Team pick and posted 2.47 kills per set on .289 hitting as a fourth-year player in 2014. The lefty right-side hitter concluded the regular season seventh in Marquette history with 119 career service aces and notched the highest blocks per set average of her tenure this season.
Niemann, who also claimed first team honors in 2013, showed tremendous improvement as a blocker in her second season of competition in 2014. She ranked fifth in the league in blocks per set with 1.19 per frame and sixth with an attack percentage of .309.
Marquette (24-7, 14-4 BIG EAST) has earned the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Conference Women's Volleyball Championship, which it will host on Nov. 28-29 at the Al McGuire Center.
The Golden Eagles begin action in the semifinal round at 5:30 p.m. Central time on Friday, Nov. 28, against No. 2-seed Seton Hall. The match will be streamed live on the BIG EAST Digital Network through the FOX Sports GO application.
2014 BIG EAST Volleyball Awards
BIG EAST Player of the Year
Autumn Bailey, So., OH, Marquette
BIG EAST Freshman of the Year
Makayla Ferguson, Fr., S, Butler
BIG EAST Libero of the Year
Tessa Fournier, Jr., L, Seton Hall
BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year
All-BIG EAST First Team
Autumn Bailey, Marquette, So., OH *
Abbey Bessler, Xavier, So., OH ^
Jess Bird, Creighton, So., OH
Kelli Browning, Creighton, Sr., MB *
Tessa Fournier, Seton Hall, So., L
Lindsey Gosh, Marquette, Sr., RS ^
Shelbey Manthorpe, Seton Hall, Sr., S *
Stacey Manthorpe, Seton Hall, Sr., OH *
Meghan Niemann, Marquette, R-So., MH
Belle Obert, Butler, Sr., OH ^
Karin Palgutova, St. John's, Jr., OH *
Aubree Smith, Xavier, Sr., S
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Terese Cannon, Georgetown, Fr., OH
Makayla Ferguson, Butler, Fr., S
Amanda Hansen, Seton Hall, Jr., MB
Lauren Smith, Creighton, So., MB
Erica Stahl, Butler, Sr., MB ^
Aleksandra Wachowicz, St. John's, Sr., OH
*unanimous first team selection
^unanimous All-BIG EAST selection