Blue Demons Drop Rambler Challenge Finale, 3-1
Sept. 15, 2012
CHICAGO - The DePaul Blue Demons narrowly missed out on a perfect weekend, dropping the final match of the Loyola Rambler Challenge to the hosts, 3-1 (25-15, 19-25, 25-23, 25-19), on Saturday, September 15 at Gentile Arena.
Vesela Zapryanova led DePaul with 12 kills and was named to an All-Tournament Team for the third straight weekend, but the Blue Demons fell to 5-7 on the season with the setback. Supplementing the DePaul offense, Rachel Aumann recorded 10 kills as Natalie Rizzo and Briana Spruill added eight apiece.
Loyola improved to 8-5 and got 22 kills from Anna Eytchison, who led all players. As a team, the Blue Demons were out-blocked 11-10 for the first time all weekend and were out-hit .253-.147.
An Aumann kill secured the first point of the match for the Blue Demons but Loyola would grab the lead at 2-1 and never relinquish it, running away with a 25-15 win.
Set two saw the Blue Demons rebound, taking a 6-2 lead in the early goings to force a Rambler timeout. A block by Huebener and Aumann followed by an Aumann kill stretched the advantage to 8-2 before Loyola grabbed 5-of-6 points to pull within two. A Loyola error followed by a block and kill by Aumann gave DePaul a 12-7 lead as the team began to pull away. The Ramblers would get as close as three, 20-17, but DePaul went on a 5-2 run to take set two 25-19.
In set three, DePaul came out strong again taking the first point and jumping out to an 8-5 lead. A 4-1 Loyola run tied things up, but DePaul would lead for the final time at 11-10 on a kill by Rizzo. The set stayed tight, however, as Loyola was poised to win the set at 24-21 before an error and kill by Aumann brought DePaul back within one and forced a Loyola timeout. A Rambler kill out of the stoppage would block the Demon comeback, however, and sealed set three 25-23.
Loyola got out to an early lead in set four, but DePaul battled back with kills by Briana Spruill and another by Aumann to finish a long rally and erase a 12-8 deficit. Loyola then answered with a 5-1 run out of a timeout to take a 17-13 lead and force a Blue Demon timeout. Loyola took four-of-five points out of the stoppage and DePaul would get no closer than five the rest of the way.
Next up for the Blue Demons will be a trip to Louisville to begin conference play on Friday, Sept. 21. Match time is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT.