The chants of “OH MY! GOSH!” sounded from the student section. Sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Gosh finished off another kill, and Marquette surged ahead of a very competitive Syracuse team late in the first set.
Gosh, who posted a team-leading 12 kills in the sweep (25-19, 25-12, 25-20) of the Orange in the Big East opener, extended her team-leading kills total to 149, (3.24 kills per set). The Golden Eagles improved to 10-3 on the season.
“Syracuse, we knew, would show us a lot of different looks,” coach Bond Shymansky said. “They have some really dynamic athletes. They’re a team we’re better off catching at the beginning of the season.”
Gosh baffled the Orange from the opening point. She was the first player on the court to three kills and helped the Golden Eagles pull away, finishing the set with seven kills.
“It’s one of my goals to be efficient,” Gosh said. “It helps the team out. Bisky (junior setter Elizabeth Koberstein) can give us the ball and we can put it away.”
Gosh, who played sparingly in her 2011 freshman campaign, has seen her role expand in 2012. She now rarely leaves the court unless Shymansky feels she needs a rest or Marquette is dominating its opponent.
“I knew my role would be as big as it is,” Gosh said. “In the spring the coaches were already preparing me to play outside, to play all the way around and to be able to serve, receive and hit out of the back row.”
Even with her early success, Gosh’s new position demands a lot of her.
“I get really tired fast,” Gosh said, “especially since I play all six rotations and have to jump serve. I use a lot of energy.”
Perhaps her greatest weapon on the court is Gosh’s jump serve, which causes chaos for opposing back rows as they try to dig out the “rockets” she sends over the net. However, with great power comes great risk. Not only does Gosh lead the team in aces with 26, she leads Marquette in service errors with 38. She only connects on 79 percent of her serves, while the rest of the team averages well over 90 percent.
“I work with (assistant coach) Michaela (Franklin) on my toss because it’s so all over the place,” Gosh said. “It helps me gain more confidence, and that adrenaline keeps building up. It helps the team out because when I pull other teams out of (their) system, it makes it easier for us to get a block or a free ball.”
Shymansky noticed Gosh already improving with her serve against Syracuse.
“She was great from the service line again today, keeping them off balance and putting rockets over the net,” Shymansky said. “She was also really good for us as an attacker. Those are dimensions within our team that are really growing.”
Gosh said her coach makes sure she knows that she plays a huge part in the team’s success.
“When we had our first scrimmage, Bond pulled me out when I went to the back row and told me that he expected me to lead us in kills and lead us in aces,” Gosh said. “I just kind of knew my role from the get-go.”
In addition to her coach, the fans support Gosh in a way she has never experienced.
“It’s really exciting,” Gosh said. “I’ve never really had my own little fan section. They try to get #GoshNation trending on Twitter. It’s different and helps build that adrenaline.”
Ultimately, Gosh has big plans for herself and the team as they head into the thick of Big East play.
“Our team could go to the NCAA Tournament if we really worked hard,” Gosh said. “I need to keep doing what I’m doing and gaining more confidence because I’m a huge asset to the team.”