Blue Demons Nipped by No. 2 Nittany Lions, 3-0
EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. - The DePaul volleyball team hung tough with No. 2 Penn State, but ultimately fell 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-17) in the opening match of the 2012 Chicago Classic on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at Mother McAuley High School.
With the loss, DePaul drops to 3-4 on the season while the second-ranked Nittany Lions improved to 6-0.
The Blue Demons were led on offense by freshman outside hitter Callie Huebener, who tallied seven kills. Junior Vesela Zapryanova also added six kills to the Demon attack, which saw seven different players record at least one kill.
Junior libero Allyson Rooks posted 13 digs to pace the defense.
Penn State was especially effective on offense, hitting .470 and committing just six errors. Juniors Ariel Scott (11) and Deja McClendon (14) - both All-Americans in 2011 - reached double-digit kills for PSU.
In the first set, DePaul charged out to a 6-4 lead capped by a service ace by Huebener and led 7-5 after a PSU service error. The Nittany Lions would tie it up 7-7 on a kill by Scott, however, and took the lead for good at 9-8.
Set two saw the Blue Demons mount another spirited effort in the early-goings, keeping the set even until 6-6 before a seven point PSU run put it out of reach for good. The Nittany Lions would roll to an eventual 25-12 win.
Bouncing back again in the third set, DePaul led 4-3 early and held the match even until 5-5 before a four point PSU run. The Blue Demons would get no closer than three the rest of the way.
The Blue Demons will return to the court this evening at 5:00 p.m. to take on local rival UIC.
Notes: DePaul falls to 1-1 on the season in three set matches and 2-4 when dropping the first set... Briana Spruill recorded her first kill of the season and played in her second set of the year... The Blue Demons were held to a season-low .076 hitting percentage by a tough PSU front line. DePaul was also out-blocked by its largest margin of the year, 9-3...