Marquette Volleyball: Daunting weekend ahead for Golden Eagles Marquette women’s volleyball team swept away the competition at the Xavier Invitational last weekend but face a much greater challenge at the Ambassador Hotel Golden Eagle Classic this weekend at the Al McGuire Center.

The team will host two ranked teams, No. 23 Michigan on Friday and No. 25 Northern Iowa on Sunday, as well as Wake Forest and Eastern Illinois in a massive, nine-game round robin tournament.

Coach Bond Shymansky said that his team is prepared to play a season-high four matches in three days.

“We’re physically ready because that’s what we train all preseason to do,” Shymansky said. “The real challenge is how do you turn the mental page from match to match and from opponent to opponent.”

Two of those opponents, Michigan and Northern Iowa, will likely test the Golden Eagles more than any other team this season. Although the team lost to Northwestern two weeks ago, UM and UNI will be the first ranked opponents it will play in 2012.

“There are teams that you want to beat, that you can beat and that you should beat,” Shymansky said. “When you’re playing against programs that are perennial powerhouses and have a long-standing history of success, it takes a lot of team trust and team stability

to be able to fight through matches like that.”However, Shymansky stressed the importance of not glossing over the perceived lesser teams on the weekend’s schedule.

Elizabeth Koberstein led Marquette to three straight victories in Cincinnati.

“The first key is not overlooking teams like Wake Forest and Eastern Illinois,” Shymansky said. “Watching them play on video, they’re both capable of beating us if we’re not sharp.”

Junior libero Julie Jeziorowski also feels that film will help the Golden Eagles this weekend.

“We’ve watched a lot of film,” Jeziorowski said. “I think it’s important to know what the other teams are doing. We’ve also been doing some sprints so we can keep up with the game and not get tired. We’d like to win in three, but you never know.”

The sharpness of the offense and passing game is sure to play a huge role in the Golden Eagles’ success this weekend.

“We need to pass and serve better,” Shymansky said. “When we do that really well, we can be super dynamic. When we don’t do that really well, it’s a lot of pressure on our younger players to perform.”

“Our offense is the key to our success,” Jeziorowski said. “It has been for a while. It’s quick and hard to block, and that’s going to be important for this weekend.”

Marquette’s opponents have to keep an eye on versatile sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Gosh, whose powerful serves and attacks have taken her team to another level so far in 2012.

“Lindsey Gosh is ready to move up in her role on our team,” Shymansky said. “When she plays well, we’re going to play well. She can have a really big impact that she hasn’t realized or fulfilled yet, but she’s on her way to doing that.”

Gosh seems to understand her potential for great success on the court.

“Knowing that my serve is aggressive,” Gosh said, “I’m easily able to pull teams out of system and ace them. For hitting, my power is really important because my intent is to kill the ball.”