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DePaul Volleyball Sweeps USC Upstate to Begin Rambler Challenge
Junior libero Allyson Rooks put up a career-high 21 digs in the Blue Demons' second 3-0 win of the season.

Junior libero Allyson Rooks put up a career-high 21 digs in the Blue Demons' second 3-0 win of the season.

Sept. 14, 2012

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CHICAGO - Junior Vesela Zapryanova led all players with 18 kills as DePaul blew past USC Upstate 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-13) on Friday, September 14 in its opening match of the Loyola Rambler Challenge at Gentile Arena.

With the win, the Blue Demons snapped a three-match losing streak and improved to 4-6. USC Upstate fell to 3-5.

In addition to Zapryanova's season-high .385 hitting percentage, the outside hitter added seven digs and two service aces in her team's most dominating performance thus far.

Junior middle blocker Natalie Rizzo posted eight kills to go with a pair of aces in an efficient .500 outing, while junior libero Allyson Rooks got under a career-high 21 balls in the win.

Setter Laura Witt also recorded her first double-double of the season with 25 assists and 10 digs.

DePaul would take set one, 25-15, hitting .200 and limiting the Ramblers to -.056 from the floor. Rizzo led the way with four kills, as Callie Huebener and Zapryanova added three apiece in a set the Demons dominated at the net (4.5-0).

It was all DePaul at the outset, as the Blue Demons raced ahead 5-1 punctuated by a Rizzo kill. The Blue Demons would lead by as many as 13 on three separate occasions, including as late as 24-11 on a Huebener kill from Witt.

In set two, the story played out nearly the same with the Blue Demons out-hitting the Spartans .211-.025. Zapryanova led all players with six kills in the set, including a rocket from the far side to seal the 2-0 lead in the match.

DePaul jumped out to a 4-1 lead early and continued to roll, never trailing in the set. A Rooks ace would make it 18-13 and force a Spartan timeout and DePaul would eventually take its largest lead just before finishing the set, 24-14, on another kill by Rizzo.

The Blue Demons took the first four points in the third frame, and raced out to an 18-5 lead before a Spartan timeout. USC Upstate fought back out of the stoppage, but DePaul closed out the match with its largest set win of the afternoon.

Rizzo and Briana Spruill came together on a double-block and a subsequent ace from Rizzo would close out the match, 25-13.

DePaul plays next in the tournament Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2:00 p.m. against Chicago State.