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Wednesday

April 2014

23

Women's volleyball

Cooney grad Gosh takes quantum leap

Gosh takes reins for Marquette postseason run

Lindsey Gosh shifted positions and shifted roles for the Marquette women's volleyball team.

As a left-handed swinger, the Oconomowoc native had been a right-side hitter for the Golden Eagles, a squad that reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 2011. A switch to outside hitter led to an exponential increase in contribution, and she became the leading attacker for a team that reached the Big East title game for the first time and made a repeat trip to the NCAA tourney.

"Over the spring, I started playing outside," said Gosh, the 2010 Wisconsin Little Ten Player of the Year and a four-year letterwinner for the Raccoons. "I continued to develop and got more comfortable with it, since it wasn't my position. Before the season started, my coach said he expected me to lead us in aces and point scoring. I kind of knew that huge of a role was going to be brought on me, I just had to step up and fill it."

She finished with 343 kills this season, third-most on the team, and a team-high 1,064 attacks. Sure enough, her 51 aces also led the team by far - more than twice as many as the next-best contributor. She played in all 34 matches for the Golden Eagles, who finished 27-7.

As a true freshman, Gosh saw action in only nine matches.

"I had no idea I was going to be an outside (the following year)," Gosh said. "I'm more likely to take an aggressive swing (on the right side) compared to the outside."

With more opportunities and more options at her new position, Gosh found herself across from a familiar face in the first round of the tournament against Creighton. Catholic Memorial graduate Kelli Browning, whom Gosh had become friends with through shared experiences at volleyball camps, finished with All-Region honors as a sophomore for the Bluejays. Ranked No. 21, Creighton defeated Marquette in three sets at the University of Minnesota on Nov. 30, and Gosh finished with six kills and 14 digs.

"Even though last year was our first time actually playing (in the NCAA tourney), we had more adrenaline," Gosh said of the second go-round. "There's a lot more pressure, too. It was definitely more exciting."

Though Marquette won its opening-round match in 2011, the 2012 season marked a first-ever visit to the Big East title game, where the Golden Eagles fell to Louisville.

"We knew from the beginning we wanted to be in the finals," Gosh said. "We made sure in every practice that we were working hard to get there. We had a common goal, and that was the Big East final, and we worked our butts off in practice."

Now comes basketball season, and though Gosh won't be taking part, she's a frequent fan in attendance at Marquette games. One of her best friends is sophomore guard Arlesia Morse. As a senior at Oconomowoc, Gosh elected to focus on club volleyball instead of playing basketball, walking away from another sport in which she had thrived.

"It was extremely tough," she said. "Before I decided I wanted to pursue volleyball, I always wanted to play D1 at Baylor for basketball That as my dream as a child, and even going into high school. It was really tough. I started crying once I quit basketball. Now when I look back, I still really miss basketball."

The rest will do her good. Gosh said she's battling a number of injuries.

"This was a lot of stress on my body," she admitted. "I have patella tendinitis. I had a rib injury, and I have bicep tendinitis. I'm looking forward to getting healthy so I can play at 100 percent come spring."

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