Volleyball’s Bailey named AVCA Player of the Week

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The American Volleyball Coaches Association named Marquette sophomore outside hitter Autumn Bailey as the Division I National Player of the Week this week, due to her 50-kill weekend on a combined .341 hitting percentage. Bailey is the first Marquette student-athlete to win the honor and only the second Big East player to be named AVCA Player of the Week. Monday, Bailey was chosen as the Big East Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season.

Marquette coach Ryan Theis admitted he does not usually point out the performance of individual players, but Bailey has been exceptional this season.

“What is allowing Autumn to have this much success is her improvement in all facets of the game,” Theis told GoMarquette.com. “She has become a better all-around player and is making much better decisions about what to do with the ball – when she is in trouble she keeps it in. She is starting to learn what shots to use and when, and that is why her efficiency was so good. Her all-around game, middle back defense and passing have all gotten stronger through the course of the last off-season and earlier this year.”

The Burlington, Ontario, Canada native ranks in the top eight nationally in total kills and attacks, as well as average points, kills and attacks per set. Bailey is the only sophomore in the top-10 of any of those statistics.

However, Bailey is not alone in making waves in the Big East, as teammate Lauren Houg also earned conference honors this week. The sophomore libero was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll after a 29-dig performance in a loss to Seton Hall and 17 in Saturday night’s victory against Villanova. The Golden Eagles as a team are in the top three of every major offensive category in the conference and lead the league in hitting percentage (.253).

Marquette (23-7, 13-4) is just a half-game behind second-place Seton Hall and 2.5 games back of conference-leading Creighton. The Golden Eagles are not ranked in the AVCA polls, despite having the highest RPI out of any team in the conference (26). Marquette will face Seton Hall in the Big East semifinals, but whether they do so as the second or third seed in the tournament is yet to be determined. The team will need to take care of business against last place DePaul (3-26, 1-16) and will need Seton Hall to lose both of its weekend matches against Georgetown and Creighton to have a shot at the two seed.

The Golden Eagles last played DePaul Oct. 11 and cruised to a 3-0 sweep against the Blue Demons, 25-15, 25-19 and 25-16. Bailey led all scorers with 16 kills and added five digs. Marquette forced 20 errors and held DePaul to a .111 hitting percentage, including .000 in the final set.

Marquette will square off against DePaul at the Al McGuire Center Saturday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m., for the final regular season game of the year. Lindsey Gosh and Courtney Kintzel will be honored in a Senior Night ceremony before the match.

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