Sometimes things get a little wild around these parts, and one of those times is towards the end of the basketball season. Not only are men's and women's basketball heading towards a finale, but men's and women's lacrosse are up and running as well.
So when Marquette's volleyball team announces a transfer in late February, sometimes it slides to the back of the deck. Sometimes it slides so far back that we end up sitting back and waiting for a day when nothing else was going on just to have something to post for the day.
Well, that day is today.
Back on February 24, Marquette volleyball head coach Ryan Theis announced that outside hitter Joy Miley is transferring to MU from Long Beach State. She will join the Golden Eagles and be eligible immediately with two seasons of eligibility remaining.
After being ranked #24 in the country by PrepVolleyball.com during her senior year of high school, Miley's career at LBSU was slightly underwhelming from a statistical perspective. She averaged 1.21 kills in 58 sets while hitting .212 in her freshman season, and she only played 42 sets in an injury shortened sophomore campaign. She did average 2 kills flat in 2014, but she only hit .177. In Miley's defense, she was never the focus of the offense in either season. Obviously, with just 58 sets played in 2013, Miley was a little used reserve while LBSU played 115 sets during the season. During 2014, Miley finished ranking 4th on the team in attacks per set. Granted, that could have been skewed by Miley missing time and everyone else picking up the slack, but she had a teammate averaging three full attacks more than her, and that's not by accident.
Regardless of how her time with The Beach went, Miley's going to be front and... ok, well not center for the Golden Eagles, but she does go right to the front of the line as far as MU's attackers go. The Golden Eagles return just one outside hitter with collegiate experience, so hopefully Miley will benefit from whatever coaching Ryan Theis was handing out to Autumn Bailey and Nele Barber last season.
Adding to the burden on Miley to perform immediately is Theis adding two new recruits that are defensive specialists. Riley Burchett hails from Burr Ridge, Illinois, where she attended Nazareth Academy and played libero. Burchett was a four-year letterwinner for Nazareth, and her time included an Illinois regional title during her sophomore season. She was the captain of her club team which placed 12th in the U15 Nationals and 5th place the next year, when Burchett was named to the all-tournament team.
Abby Julian played both setter and defensive specialist for St. Francis DeSales in Columbus, Ohio. Her high school team made three straight state semifinal appearances, not to mention winning their leagues along the way. She has extensive experience at the club level, having participated for seven years, including five at the national level for the Elite Volleyball Training Center. Julian is listed as setter and defensive specialist on the MU roster, but between transfer Sara Blasier and the returning Mary Nilles, I wouldn't expect to see her get much of a chance at setter this season.