Youth is served: freshman Jeziorowski shines

Kermit the Frog has been known to say that “it’s not easy being green.” Freshman Julie Jeziorowski would tend to disagree.

Jeziorowski is the freshman libero for the Marquette women’s volleyball team, and her “greenness” has nothing to do with a deformity or skin pigmentation. It has everything to do with her experience.

One of six fresh faces on the team, Jeziorowski had never played a point of collegiate volleyball prior to this year. This lack of experience, or greenness, per se, has not held her back when it comes to making an impact.

The freshman from Crystal Lake, Ill., has stepped into the program and already made an impact, starting in every match and leading the team with 73 digs.

“I’m really honored to have this spot,” Jeziorowski said, “but I know that every day, every practice, every game, I have to continue fighting to not just keep that spot but have that spot nonstop. ”

The transition from high school to college is one that takes a lot of time for most players, but Jeziorowski says she has handled the changes well so far. She tallied a career high 24 digs in the team’s last game against St. Mary’s.

“I think the game is a lot faster, especially on defense,” Jeziorowski said. “The ball comes at you a lot faster. You have to be prepared and ready.”

Coach Bond Shymansky noted that Jeziorowski emerged as the starting libero over the course of the preseason, and after struggling to adjust to the speed of the game the first weekend, has started to stick some great digs.

Jeziorowski said she has little time for anything outside of volleyball but when she does find the time she likes to paint and eat. She said food is her thing.

A very grounded and family oriented person, Jeziorowski said she enjoys seeing members of her familiy. They will have their first opportunity to watch their daughter play this weekend as the Golden Eagles open their home schedule against Creighton Friday night at the Al McGuire Center to kick-off the Marquette Invitational.

“All I can think is excitement and nerves,” Jeziorowski said.

Shymansky said having the luxury of playing at home will be a huge advantage for his team.

“The comfort of playing in your own gym, in front of your own crowd and sleeping in our own beds, all those things can equal a better peace of mind, and a little less anxiety,” Shymansky said.

Marquette will rely heavily on senior setter Nikki Klingsporn. The Minnesota native has been having a spectacular year, leading the team with 241 sets and four double-doubles. She is second in the Big East with 11.48 assists per game and has been named to the Big East Honor Roll two weeks in a row.

“We’re expecting to get three wins,” Klingsporn said. “We are expecting to come out and show the crowd how good we are and how good of a season we will have.”

Shymansky also believes Marquette will come out and prove themselves this weekend.

“Our team is really, really hungry. They are hungry to beat on people,” Shymansky said. “Were not done getting better yet. We have plenty of work to do, but I think this weekend will be the start of our work paying off.”