Volleyball Concludes CSU Tournament With Heartbreaker
Sept. 10, 2011
CLEVELAND, Ohio – In its final match of the Cleveland State Tournament, the DePaul volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking five-set loss to IPFW on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Demons took the first and fourth sets by a 25-20 margin but fell in the remainder of the frames by scores of 25-21, 25-22, and 15-13.
DePaul (3-7) battled back and forth with the Mastodons (5-4) and after forcing a fifth and final set, were edged out by IPFW. In the opening set, the Blue Demons trailed the Mastodons by as many as six points at 8-2 and 13-7. When both squads reached double digits, DePaul was the beneficiary of five consecutive IPFW errors before kills by Amy Lanski and Natalie Rizzo tied the match at 16-all. DePaul tied it again at 20-20 thanks to a kill by junior Rachel Aumann and the Blue Demons took hold of the set. Four attack errors by the Mastodons and a service ace by senior Lauren Blasi closed out the set at 25-20.
The Blue Demons had command of the second set early, but IPFW fought to level the match at one set apiece. The teams traded points for much of the set, knotting the score at 11-11, 13-13, 14-14, and 15-15. A trio of Blue Demon errors helped IPFW to a 19-15 advantage and the Mastodons held on for the set win. The third set played out much like the second in its tightness. The teams remained within three points of one another from the beginning with DePaul pulling even at 18-18 and again at 21-21. The Blue Demons called a timeout down 23-21, but it was too late as IPFW nailed down the third frame with back to back kills to close it out.
Down two sets to one, DePaul refused to go quietly. After the Mastodons knotted the match at 5-5, the Blue Demons nabbed the lead and held on. Lanski threw down consecutive kills and Molly Creek did some damage on offense to give DePaul the fourth set victory. Creek tallied six kills in 10 attempts while Lanski notched three in seven and the Blue Demons rolled to a 25-20 win.
While the first four frames were tense, it was the fifth set that provided the majority of the drama for the afternoon. The score tied on four separate occasions during the deciding set, most notably at 7-7. IPFW rattled off two kills to make it 9-7 and the Blue Demons found themselves playing catch-up the remainder of the way. Down 11-8—DePaul’s largest deficit of the fifth set—the Blue Demons called for a timeout. Following the break, two IPFW errors made it 11-10 but DePaul couldn’t quite catch the mastodons, eventually falling 15-13.
The Blue Demons are now preparing to host their annual DePaul Invitational on September 16 and 17 where they welcome Valparaiso, San Diego State, and Kansas to the McGrath-Phillips Arena beginning Friday.