Marquette women’s volleyball coach Bond Shymansky is calm — as calm as a coach ever gets. He sits by the volleyball court with his right leg crossed over his left as he watches his team battle with in-state rival University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This being a spring season game, score is kept, but it acts more like a time-keeper than a true measure of success. The goal is to give his girls experience.
Today he seems to be focusing his coaching toward Lindsey Gosh, a sophomore outside hitter and sweet-swinging lefty who will be asked to pick up a lot of the slack left with the departures of Ashley Beyer and Ciara Jones. After Gosh makes a hitting error and sends the ball sailing out of bounds, Shymansky looks straight at her.
This is where his coaching style differs from most high-major Division I coaches. Instead of laying into Gosh and letting her know she messed up royally, he smiles straight at her, clapping twice before telling her to keep swinging.
He’s locked on her now, following her every movement on the court. After three or four more points Shymansky finally stands — as he is prone to do during the season in the fall — and walks near the backline where Gosh is currently stationed. He is constantly supporting her, whether the ball lands in play or not.
“He’s calm, cool and collected,” Jack Smith, father of defensive specialist Jalyn Smith, said. “He didn’t seem to get overly aggressive with the girls.”
Bond is no Buddhist monk though. Shymansky has been around the game long enough to know the type of motivation each player responds best to.
“I’m not necessarily a screamer, but I will yell at my team at times,” Shymansky said. “I’m not really big into swearing, but I do get mad sometimes. I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older to be more like the horse whisperer. I like to pull players aside and whisper things to them more than I like to yell at them.
“Like anything, you have to figure out each different player each different year. They just require a tweaking of motivation or inspiration or whatever it is.”
That is his gift. Read more…
A huge congratulations goes out to Bond Shymansky and the Marquette women’s volleyball team who will be dancing in the NCAA Tournament this weekend for the first time in school history. Much more to come but here is a quick look at just how much this meant to the team.
It’s been a crazy month on this end as we launched a new blog for the men’s basketball team so I apologize for the lack of posts.
I haven’t seen a live game in way too long so I’m not at liberty to analyze too much on the goings on of this team, but I will say it has positioned itself perfectly for at least a share of the Big East crown.
Today was a tough road test at Pitt, a place where previously undefeated Louisville had fallen. This puts MU in the driver’s seat for the Big East title, with full control of their destiny. Win out and you get the title outright, one loss and you get a split title at worst, and two losses means you have to beat Louisville, assuming they stay undefeated.
Here is gomarquette.com’s recap of today’s match.
PITTSBURGH – The Marquette University women’s volleyball team improved to a perfect 9-0 in the BIG EAST Conference with a 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 sweep of Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon at Fitzgerald Field House in Pittsburgh.
The Golden Eagles (19-6 overall) hit .391 (45 kills, nine errors, 91 total attacks) in the contest and were paced by 14 kills from senior outside hitter Ashley Beyer and 13 from classmate and fellow outside hitter Ciara Jones . Jones hit .500 in the match with only two errors on 22 total attacks.
The Panthers (14-11, 4-6 BIG EAST) were led by 11 kills from reigning BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week Kiesha Leggs.
In the two squads’ last meeting, MU swept the Panthers on Nov. 19, 2010 in the quarterfinals of the 2010 BIG EAST Championship, allowing the Golden Eagles to advance to the conference semifinals for the second time in program history.
Marquette is a perfect 9-0 this season after winning the opening two sets, with every victory coming in a sweep.
The Golden Eagles return to action at the WVU Coliseum at 1 p.m. Central time Sunday, Oct. 30 at West Virginia.
Couple items of interest. Big assist total from Chelsea Heier, notching 42 in 3 sets. Great efficiency as a team, hitting .396 for the game. Great work from the outsides Ashley Beyer and Ciara Jones combining for 27 kills. Stellar defense, recording 43 digs in only 3 sets.
Great all around team effort and just what the doctor ordered after nerve wracking 5-set matches last weekend.
You can look at Marquette’s loss to Middle Tennessee last night in one of two ways.
1) This was a terrible loss that hurts momentum and worst of all hurts their RPI. After all, had Marquette won one more game last season, I’m especially talking about the Creighton game, they would have made the NCAA Tournament. This loss is not to a bad team, but by no means is it to a great team like Minnesota or Northern Iowa. You simply can’t lose games like that if you want to make the move to the next level.
2) While the loss hurts, it might actually be a good thing in the long run. Sure, losing will hurt your RPI a bit, but it was on the road and Middle Tennessee had an 8 match winning streak going. This loss might actually help Marquette by knocking them down a peg and showing that nothing is given to them. Just because they are doing well at the moment doesn’t mean they can sit back and relax. The Golden Eagles must always come out ready for a battle, and this match will be used as evidence by Bond and the coaching staff for the rest of the year.
I tend to side with the second position more than the first. It’s a road non-conference loss. Not the end of the world. Better to regroup now while there is still ample time than when it’s too late.
Here’s the recap of the match from GoMrquette:
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Marquette University women’s volleyball team dropped a 25-22, 25-19, 26-24 decision to Middle Tennessee Tuesday evening at the Alumni Memorial Gym in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The Golden Eagles fall to 15-5 on the season and were led by 11 kills from senior outside hitter Ashley Beyer, while classmate Ciara Jones had eight. Freshman setter Chelsea Heiernotched 30 assists and sophomore libero Julie Jeziorowski had 15 digs.
Junior outside hitter Ashley Adams led Middle Tennessee (9-9 overall) with 16 kills, while redshirt senior Alyssa Wistrick had 13 for the Blue Raiders. Adams and Wistrick led Middle Tennessee with 14 kills apiece in the previous matchup, a 3-1 Marquette win at the Al McGuire Center on Sept. 16.
The loss snaps a six-match winning streak for the Golden Eagles, who had taken 12 straight sets entering the match and had won 12 of 13 matches overall. It is the first time MU has been swept this season.
With Sunday’s three set victory over Villanova, Marquette moved to 5-0 in the Big East, continuing its program best conference start. It now sits at 15-4 having won 12 of its last 13 games.
If those stats aren’t impressive enough, a pair of players were rewarded again for their outstanding play this weekend. Freshman Chelsea Heier was named the Big East Freshman of the Week for the second time this season while senior Ciara Jones was named to the Big East Honor Roll for the third time in her career.
Heier averaged 11.5 assists per set in the two games and still leads the Big East in assists while Jones tallied 26 kills in that time frame.
Collectively, this team is making it look easy. Villanova was undefeated in the Big East going into Sunday’s match but the Wildcats barely purred against the potent Golden Eagles. There is no obvious weakness on this team. If you double up on Jones or Beyer, Danielle Carlson has proven she can kill you single handedly. The frontline of the defense is much improved while the backrow is beyond solid. This has the makings of a very special season.
Honestly, the conference title might come down to the matchup with Louisville on Nov. 6 against Louisville, the only other undefeated team. There’s a long time until then though, and its not advisable to chalk up W after W before playing the games.
Up next for Marquette is a trip to Middle Tennessee. This is what GoMarquette has to say:
Middle Tennessee (8-9 overall, 6-1 Sun Belt) has won six straight matches after beginning the season 2-9 and is in the midst of a five-match homestead. Reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week Ashley Adams leads the Blue Raiders with 3.85 kills per set, while sophomore setter Angela Peyton has collected 8.33 assists per set.
Video recap of Marquette’s 3-0 beat down of Georgetown by GoMarquette.
The Golden Eagles will put their undefeated record on the line this weekend when they host Georgetown and Villanova at the Al. While Nova in particular will pose a stern challenge, I still see the women coming out on top of both matches and moving to 5-0 in the Big East.
There are simply too many weapons on this team. If Ciara doesn’t smash your face in, Beyer will deliver body blows til you cave, or Carlson will probe your weak spot over and over again. As long as Julie and the defense keeps up their normal level, Marquette should be riding high come Sunday night.
Unfortunately I will be out of town this weekend and won’t be able to provide a recap or analysis from any of the games. It feels a bit cheap to keep using GoMarquette over and over, but there’s not much I can do.
So thank you Mike Wittliff for all of your hard work and excellent coverage. Hopefully I can use it less and less.
Here are some links to get you ready for the weekend.
Here is the preview from GoMarquete.com.
The Marquette University women’s volleyball team returns to the Al McGuire Center this weekend for a pair of BIG EAST Conference contests against Georgetown on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. and Villanova on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m.
Marquette (13-4, 3-0 BIG EAST) collected three road wins last weekend by beating Sacred Heart and Connecticut, 3-1, and sweeping St. John’s. With the victories over the Huskies and the Red Storm, MU is off to its best start in BIG EAST play since joining the league in 2005.
Junior middle hitter Danielle Carlson was named to the BIG EAST Conference Women’s Volleyball Honor Roll on Monday for the second consecutive week. Carlson leads the BIG EAST with a .412 hitting percentage and is 10th nationally, while freshman setter Chelsea Heier owns 12.05 assists per set to rank first in the BIG EAST and fourth nationally.
Senior Ashley Beyer currently has 994 kills and is on pace to top 1,000 early in Friday’s match against Georgetown. The outside hitter also notched her fifth double-double of the season against Sacred Heart on Thursday, Sept. 29, tallying 13 kills and 17 digs.
Georgetown (9-8, 1-3 BIG EAST) snapped a three-game losing streak on Oct. 2 with a 3-1 victory at home over West Virginia. Freshman outside hitter Alex Johnson owns a team-best 2.75 kills per set average and Ashley Malone leads the Hoyas with 10.55 assists per set.
The Hoyas last played at the Al McGuire Center on Oct. 16, 2009, the only time the arena has been filled to capacity (4,000) for a volleyball match in program history.
Villanova (12-5, 4-0 BIG EAST) enters the match with MU on a four-match win streak. The Wildcats went 2-0 last weekend with wins over BIG EAST opponents West Virginia 3-0 (Sept. 30) and Pittsburgh 3-1 (Oct. 2). Senior libero Kim Maroon is third in the nation and first in the BIG EAST with 6.67 digs per set. Villanova will travel to Syracuse Friday evening before taking on the Golden Eagles Sunday afternoon.
Marquette also travels to Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Tuesday for a rematch with Middle Tennessee. MU beat the Blue Raiders 3-1 on Friday, Sept. 16 at the Al McGuire Center in the Marquette Challenge.
Live statistics are available on GoMarquette.com, and live, streaming video of the match will be available on the website’s multimedia platform, MUTube.
Finally, this week’s edition of the Marquette Volleyball Report: