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Volleyball Drops Season Opener
Rachel Aumann had five kills to go along with six blocks in DePaul's 3-1 loss to Eastern Illinois on Friday.


Rachel Aumann had five kills to go along with six blocks in DePaul's 3-1 loss to Eastern Illinois on Friday.

Aug. 24, 2012

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CHICAGO - The DePaul volleyball team never recovered from a slow start and dropped its season opener to Eastern Illinois, 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22) on Friday at McGrath-Phillips Arena.  The match was the second of the DePaul Invitational with Indiana State defeating Butler, 3-1, earlier in the evening.
 
DePaul (0-1) got a big night from its front line with the Blue Demons out blocking the Panthers, 10-6.  Rachel Aumann led the defensive attack with six blocks - one solo and assisted on five others.   With a wall at the net, DePaul had a wonderful outing from Callie Huebener (13), Vesela Zapryanova (12), Tyler Graham (12) who all finished in double-digit dig totals.

Eastern Illinois (1-0) was paced by Alison Berens' 12 kills and sizzling .435 attack percentage.  She also added two of the Panthers eight service aces.  Emily Franklin led the floor with 15 kills but was forced into 10 attack errors by DePaul's defense at the net.

The first set saw the Panthers jump out to a 3-0 lead before a kill by Zapryanova gave the Blue Demons their first point of the match.  The two teams traded points before three straight kills by Natalie Rizzo gave the DePaul a 9-8 advantage.  The back-and-fourth stanza continued before EIU took a 21-18 advantage on a Berens kill.  The Panthers never trailed by more than three the rest of the way.

DePaul capitalized on four earlier errors by EIU in the opening points of the second set and raced out to a 7-4 advantage.  However, the Blue Demons were unable to capitalize on the momentum and a put away from Berens knotted the staza at nine.   Tied again at 14, the Panthers went on a 6-0 run to steal the momentum and took the second stanza 25-19.

Following the break, the Blue Demons were a reenergized team and hit a match-high .191 (13-4-47) in the third set.  

Rizzo again shined with the junior knocking down four kills for a sweltering .800 attack percentage.  Like the previous two stanzas, the two teams traded points and totaled eight ties in the first half of set. Tied at 17, Zapryanova broke through with her second kill of the stanza to give the Blue Demons the lead for good.   DePaul went on to take the third set 25-22.

The final set saw EIU jump out to an early lead and never look back.  The Blue Demons clawed their way back into the stanza and pulled within one, 18-17 on a Panter attack error but were unable to capitalize the rest of the way.

Zapryanova led DePaul 12 kills and Rizzo finished with eight.  Rizzo finished with a team-best .400 attack percentage while newcomer Abbie Fleener recorded a .263 hitting percentage.

The Blue Demons return to the court at 2 p.m. on Saturday and face Indiana State.  DePaul closes out the tournament with at 7 p.m. against Butler.