The Blue Demons Go Back and Forth to Start, Drop Season Opener
Aug. 27, 2010
CHICAGO - The DePaul volleyball team came out strong in its season-opener on Aug. 27, but UIC was able to come from behind and topped the Blue Demons 3-2 (25-21, 25-23, 25-14, 25-18, 15-8) in the second game of the Chicagoland Classic at McGrath Arena. DePaul is scheduled to play Loyola-Chicago on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the consolation match, while UIC takes on Northwestern at 7:30 p.m. for the Championship.
The start of the first set was a battle, with each team going back and forth and never gaining a lead more than two until DePaul took a 23-20 advantage on a kill by Christy Landschoot. The Blue Demons would finish the set with an exclamation point when Rachel Aumann terminated the ball to seal the victory. Landschoot highlighted the stanza with four kills, six assists and four digs.
DePaul had a strong showing from freshman, middle blocker Chelsea Kirkpatrick, who turned up the heat in the second set. Kirkpatrick came up with four big kills that gave the team energy in crucial moments. With the set coming to a close and back and forth play continuing, Kirkpatrick delivered a kill which gave the Blue Demons set point. Landschoot then closed the set with a dump to the back left court. Landschoot finished the match with six kills, .214 hitting percentage (6-3-14), 31 assists and 13 digs.
The momentum shifted to the Flames in the final three sets -- however, the Blue Demons continued to fight for every point. DePaul's Kate Letcher totaled three kills while Katherine Knutson registered five digs in the third set. Knutson finished the match with 25 total digs.
The fourth set gave Blue Demon fans the opportunity to see two freshmen show off their offensive capabilities. Kirkpatrick added five more to her kill total while Anastasiya Shutava tallied four of her nine kills in the fourth frame.
In the third and fourth sets, the defensive effort of the Flames would prove to be too much. UIC had four of its eight team blocks and Justine Garcia tallied 11 of her 23 digs in third and forth sets.
The fifth played like the first two with both teams trading points in the early portions of the decider. However, when the two team switched sides the Flames took off and strung together a 7-1 run that sealed the victory.
In the final set, Kirkpatrick nailed down six more kills to give her a match total of 17. The freshman finished with a team high .293 hitting percentage (17-5-41).
Notes: Katherine Knutson's 25 digs was the most for the senior since 2007 when the then-freshman totaled 26 against Western Illinois... Christy Landschoot's 31 assists moves her to 2,464 career assists which is 352 away from fourth on DePaul's all- time record... Sheila Carroll is fourth on the all-time list with 2,816... UIC is now 20-15 all-time against the Blue Demons... DePaul is now 15-14 in season openers since 1982.