Marquette Wire

Head women’s volleyball coach resigns

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The abrupt departure of Pati Rolf, former coach of Marquette women's volleyball, caught players and assistant coaches off guard when they received the news Wednesday afternoon.

"No one saw it coming. I think the best thing to call it was shock," said Hailey Viola, a junior defensive specialist.

Rolf declined to comment on her resignation, but did say, "But we have a great program, I'm looking forward to seeing their success in the future."

The Golden Eagles, 10-15, still have two Big East games left this weekend against West Virginia and Pittsburgh, ranked last and sixth in the Big East, respectively. They will also play in a Thanksgiving Tournament at Western Michigan.

Viola said the team is trying to keep morale up and stay focused for this weekend's games.

"Everybody was shocked and confused yesterday, but today we're taking this practice very seriously to take great strides for this weekend," Viola said. "Everyone's sticking together and helping each other through it."

Assistant coach Erica Heisser will be serving as the interim coach while the athletic department searches for a new coach during the winter.

Heisser has been an assistant coach for four seasons after playing three years under Rolf. Her 2004 team recorded a 22-7 season, making it to the Conference USA championship game.

Heisser said she and assistant coach Raftyn Rignell did not see the resignation coming.

"We were pretty surprised," Heisser said. "Raftyn and I are just working to work with the team and to know it's important the team moves forward because we do have matches left that we continue to get better."

Marquette has lost eight of their last 13 Big East games. Heisser said she is changing little in coaching style for the last four games.

"I definitely think that it's going to be different. I feel we'll be fine. It's going to be different. I think that we're confident in ourselves and the team would like to work hard," Heisser said.

Viola said the upperclassmen are stepping up to the plate to take leadership roles.

"Without a coach and two assistant coaches left to figure out everything and lead this team, they really need our help," Viola said. "They really need our help and we need to be really unselfish."

It is unknown whether the recruits who have not signed with Marquette will stay on, Viola said. But she said the freshmen are taking the resignation harder than the rest of the team.

"The upperclassmen are taking it as our responsibility to help them through this," Viola said.

On Friday at 7:00, the team will face West Virginia, who have yet to win a conference game and has a 7-19 overall record.

Pittsburgh will be a different story, with a 7-5 conference record and 15-12 overall. However, Marquette is ahead of Pittsburgh in the NCAA RPI rankings, holding the No. 130 spot while Pittsburg sits at No. 148.

Viola said she expects the team to be mature about the resignation and win this weekend.

"Everyone knows how important it is to end the season on a good note regardless of what it means it should just be a matter of pride and representing the program the best we can," Viola said.

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