Volleyball Sets Program Record, Wins 10th Straight to Open Season
Sept. 20, 2013
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – DePaul volleyball made program history on Friday night with a 10th straight win to start the season, defeating SIU-Edwardsville, 3-1, in its opening match of the SIUE Cougar Invitational at the Vadalabene Center.
Sophomore Abbie Fleener helped the team get there, putting together her best outing of the year so far and registering a season-high 18 kills on a .438 attack percentage. Classmate Callie Huebener also tied a season-high mark with 11 kills while hitting a tidy .429.
From the outside, senior Vesela Zapryanova contributed her fifth double-double of the season (12 kills, 11 digs) to help DePaul surpass the 2001 team’s mark of 9-0 and extend the Blue Demons’ total winning streak to 12-straight. That streak is now the second-longest in DePaul history, one more than the 1991 squad and four short of the 1978 team’s program record of 16-straight wins.
The defense was paced by sophomore Tyler Graham, who posted a season-high 17 digs, and senior Genesis Reyes’ 11 digs.
Sophomore setter Colleen Smith recorded 47 assists as the Blue Demons outhit SIUE .287-.180. The Cougars fell to 2-9 overall with the setback.
In the opening set, senior Natalie Rizzo led the way with five kills on a .500 attacking percentage as the Blue Demons took a 1-0 lead in the match, 25-20. Trailing 5-4 early, DePaul ripped off five straight points with Graham serving – opening up a lead it would not relinquish. The Cougars did not go away, however, keeping it within three as late as 22-19 before kills by Rizzo, Huebener and Fleener put the set away.
SIUE then stole the second frame 26-24 before DePaul recovered with its most dominant set – hitting a match-high .346 to win the third set by a score of 25-16.
Fleener was on fire in the final set, landing eight kills at a .636 clip to help the Blue Demons put away the match, 25-22.
DePaul is back in action on Saturday, kicking off a two-match day against Georgia State at 10:00 a.m. CT before returning to the court at 4:30 p.m. to cap the weekend facing Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Match Notes: DePaul improved to 10-0 for the first time in program history… the Blue Demons now have a 12-match winning streak dating back to last season, which is the second-longest in program history… DePaul is now 2-0 all-time against SIUE… Graham had a season-high 17 digs and a career-high four aces… Zapryanova recorded her fifth double-double of the season (12k, 11d)… Reyes tied a season-high with 11 digs… Fleener had a season-high 18 kills… Huebener tied a season-high with 11 kills… the Blue Demons had three total blocks, their fewest since Sept. 1, 2012 versus Troy…