Three Golden Eagles were honored by the Big East yesterday for their excellent play all season long. Seniors Danielle Carlson and Holly Mertens and junior Elizabeth Koberstein were named to the All Big East First Team. Mertens was one of three unanimous selections to the first team, along with Louisville's Lola Arslanbekova and Cincinnati's Jordanne Scott. It's the first postseason honor from the Big East for both Mertens and Koberstein, and the second straight First Team recognition for Carlson.
None of this is surprising to your friends here at AE, as we had all three women predicted as First Team honorees. Let's check in on those predictions, shall we?
Player Of The Year: Lola Arslanbekova, Louisville
Libero Of The Year: Alyssa Warren, Seton Hall
Freshman Of The Year: Erin Fairs, USF
Coach Of The Year: (tie) Louisville's Anne Kordes and Connecticut's Holly Strauss-O’Brien
Well, looks like we got all four of those. Hard to predict ties, y'know? How about the All Big East First Team?
Toni Alugbue, Notre Dame, So., MB
Lola Arslanbekova, Louisville, Sr., OH
Danielle Carlson, Marquette, Sr., MH
Jeni Houser, Notre Dame, So., RS
Elizabeth Koberstein, Marquette, Jr., S
Shelbey Manthorpe, Seton Hall, So., S
Holly Mertens, Marquette, Sr., RS
Karin Palgutova, St. John’s, Fr., OH
Mattison Quayle, Connecticut, Sr., OH
Gwen Rucker, Louisville, Sr., MH
Jordanne Scott, Cincinnati, Sr., MB/RS
Kayla Walton, USF, Jr., RS
Hey, nine of out twelve! Pretty good, considering it's hard to explain how the Libero Of The Year didn't make the First Team.
Turning our attention to the Big East tournament, things get started this morning at the Al McGuire Center at 10am Central with #5 seed Connecticut facing off with #4 seed Cincinnati. All six quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be streamed live on through the Big East's website, while Sunday's championship match will be broadcast on ESPNU at 1pm Central.
#2 seed Marquette gets their tournament run started in today's main event match against #7 seed Pittsburgh. The Panthers finished the season with a 7-8 record in the Big East while going 17-13 overall. They needed wins in their last two matches against Seton Hall and Villanova to earn their fifth consecutive spot in the tournament. Marquette picked up a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh in their only match of the season back on October 5th. Monica Wignot posted a match high 15 kills for the Panthers on that day, but Jessica Wynn leads Pittsburgh in kills per set.
Here's the schedule of matches for handy reference:
Quarterfinals, Friday, Nov. 16
Match 1: No. 4 Connecticut vs. No. 5 Cincinnati, 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT
Match 2: No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 8 St. John’s, 1:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. CT
Match 3: No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 6 USF, 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. CT
Match 4: No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 7 Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT
Semifinals, Saturday, Nov. 17
Match 5: Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner, 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT
Match 6: Match 3 Winner vs. Match 4 Winner, 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. CT
Championship, Sunday, Nov. 18
Match 7: Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner, 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT (LIVE – ESPNU)