DePaul Battles for Win Over South Dakota
Aug. 26, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. - The DePaul volleyball team showed its resiliency in its Friday night matchup as it picked up its first win of the season with a 3-2, five set victory over South Dakota at the UniWyo Invitational. The Blue Demons (1-1) took the first two sets by scores of 25-23 and 25-22 before edging the Coyotes (0-2) in the final set, 16-14.
Even in the opening set the Blue Demons revealed their ability to come back. DePaul's was truly a team effort as four different players registered multiple kills in the frame. Down 20-16 late in the set, the Blue Demons surged to knot the contest at 22-all thanks to multiple-kill efforts from sophomore Natalie Rizzo (5), senior Lauren Blasi (3), junior Rachel Aumann (3), and freshman Amy Lanski (3). The Blue Demons notched three of the next four points, including the first career service ace for freshman Mariah Truscinski, to lock down their first winning set of the season.
After South Dakota's Tahnee Reed opened the second set with a kill, the Blue Demons took over.
DePaul went up as many as six points with its largest lead coming with the Blue Demons up 9-3. When the Coyotes battled back to tie it at 17, 18, 19, and 20 before taking a 21-20 lead, DePaul once again displayed its resiliency, picking five straight points to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
The start of the third set was the very definition of back-and-forth with no squad earning a lead of more than two through the first 12 points. Looking to avoid the sweep, South Dakota would eventually take control of the frame. The Coyotes led the remainder of the set for a 25-14 final, forcing a fourth set.
DePaul opened the fourth frame with a 3-0 run before the Coyotes rattled off five consecutive points to take a 7-4 lead on the Blue Demons. With South Dakota up 10-7, DePaul countered with five straight of its own to commandeer a 12-10 advantage. The Coyotes did not relent, however, forcing a fifth and final set with a 26-24 win in the fourth.
The fifth set resembled much of the previous action in that both squads battled back and forth. DePaul went down 6-3 before kills by Blasi and Rizzo and a block by Rizzo and Aumann evened the score. The Blue Demons then fell behind 8-6, but Blasi and Rizzo combined to pull it level yet again. With the Coyotes up 14-13, Rizzo began the comeback effort with two consecutive kills before Aumann sealed it with a solo block.
The Blue Demons are scheduled to play in their third of four matches this weekend tomorrow at noon against Gonzaga. DePaul's final match of the UniWyo Invitational will come against the host Wyoming at 8 p.m.
Notes: Samantha Geiger tallied a career-high in assists with 49...her previous high was 48 last season against Syracuse...Kelsey Bowler recorded a match-high in digs with 21...Rizzo registered a team-high .444 attacking percentage with 15 kills and three errors in 27 chances...she recorded just one kill in her three previous career games...Lansky notched 14 kills and Aumann contributed with 13 kills of her own...Genesis Reyes and Truscinski each collected 11 digs...only South Dakota's Kendall Kritenbrink collected more kills than Rizzo as she hit down for 18...DePaul finished with two five-set victories last season.