Marquette Wire

Golden Eagles finish perfect in spring season

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At the pace it was going, the Marquette women’s volleyball team never wanted the spring season to end. The Golden Eagles lived up to expectations and then some, winning all 10 matches they played this spring.

“I thought we played really well,” sophomore outside hitter Ashley Beyer said. “I thought there were some practices that we struggled, but we played our hardest during the weekends. We played really well as a team, and I’m really excited for next year to see what we can do.”

The rigorous practices Marquette underwent served it well in its spring matches and helped set the tone for next season.

“(Coach) Bond (Shymansky) put us through a lot of situations to make us work harder and better under pressure,” sophomore outside hitter Ciara Jones said. “I think we executed that well throughout the spring.”

This past weekend was the icing on the cake as Marquette defeated two Final Four teams en route to yet another tournament sweep. It posted victories over Texas, Minnesota and North Dakota State at the Minneapolis Tournament in Minnesota.

Despite how well they played all spring, the Golden Eagles tempered expectations playing against such quality competition.

“We were the underdog so it didn’t really matter what was going to happen,” Byer said. “If we lost, it wasn’t that big of a deal. We were real excited to win though. We just played our best and tried our hardest.”

The Golden Eagles started the day defeating the host Golden Gophers, 2-1 (25-22, 9-25, 25-22). Beyer led the team with 15 kills in the match while freshman libero Kelsey Warner led the team with 11 digs.

Marquette had to fight back after a disastrous second set where it was held to single digits.

“We were just thinking about how bad we had played,” Jones said. “We told ourselves, though, that we could win this. We had just beaten them in the first game. We needed to come out with better defense and better passing and to just focus on our side instead of what they were doing on their side. Then we came out and beat them.”

Marquette followed that win with a 2-1 victory over the 2009 National Runner-up Texas Longhorns, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21. Marquette hit an impressive .320 in defeating last year’s No. 2 team in the country.

Beyer once again led the team recording 15 kills and nine digs, while Jones added 13 kills of her own.

Marquette then beat North Dakota State, 2-0 (25-23, 27-25), in its final match of the day to end its spring season on a winning note. Beyer and Jones led the team with seven kills each.

“I didn’t really know what to expect because this was my first spring season,” freshman middle hitter Carol Henney said. “It was definitely a great experience, though, because I could go out there and work on things I can’t work on in a regular season game, while still getting the real game atmosphere.”

The Golden Eagles will now rest up before beginning practice in the summer. They hope to translate this great spring showing to regular season success.

“We need to hold our heads up high going into any gym,” Jones said. “If we can beat Texas and Minnesota, who were both in the Final Four, we can definitely beat everybody in the Big East and then contend in the NCAA championships.”

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