The DePaul volleyball team fell in five sets to Villanova in its first BIG EAST match of the season.
Sept. 24, 2011
CHICAGO – In its first BIG EAST match of the season, the DePaul volleyball team battled to the bitter end against visiting Villanova University but the Blue Demons (3-11, 0-1 BIG EAST) fell in five sets to the Wildcats (9-5, 1-0).
The two squads were even at 5-all in the first set before Villanova’s Ally Moskitis took serve and the Wildcats registered four straight points. From there, DePaul was forced to play catch-up, never quite pulling even but coming within one point of tying on multiple occasions. Freshman Amy Lanski did her part in the opener as she batted down six kills and no errors in the first frame but Villanova closed it out with a 25-21 first set win.
Determined to rebound, the Blue Demons stayed even with the Wildcats through the first eight points. With the teams knotted at four, Lanski swatted down her seventh kill and first of five in the set, which put the serve in the hands of Genesis Reyes. A kill by Lauren Blasi and two Villanova errors gave DePaul an 8-4 lead. The squads battled back and forth and after DePaul mounted a sizable lead, the Wildcats fought back to even it at 19-19. The momentum shifted, however, when a Villanova service error allowed DePaul to regain the lead at 20-19. Junior libero Kelsey Bowler added a service ace and the Wildcats committed an attacking error before Villanova burned its last timeout. Villanova came out of the break with two points to pull within one, but the Blue Demons kept in front, winning the set 25-22 on an Anastasiya Shutava kill.
The third set saw the most back-and-forth action in the match as the lead changed seven different times. While it looked early as though Villanova had taken command of the frame, going ahead 16-11 at one point, the Blue Demons answered back with force. Down 18-13, DePaul went on a 6-0 to capture the lead at 19-18. The teams leveled the set at 19-19, 20-20, and 22-22 before a Villanova attacking error combined with two thunderous kills by Molly Creek gave DePaul the 25-23 set victory.
After the Wildcats instituted several lineup changes, they got out to a big lead on the Blue Demons. DePaul countered with several kills of its own to bring the score to 14-13, but that is as close as it would come to tying from there on out. Villanova’s Krista Anderson came up big for the Wildcats in the frame as she hit .636 with seven kills to finish the set 25-17.
In the fifth and deciding set, Villanova continued with its altered lineup to get out to a quick 6-2 lead. The Blue Demons fought back to within three points at 8-5, but as the teams carried on trading points, match point loomed and the Wildcats closed it out with a block for a 15-9 fifth set final and a 3-2 match win.
With their second BIG EAST conference match scheduled for Sunday afternoon, the Blue Demons have a chance to get back on track with a quick turnaround. DePaul faces off against Georgetown on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the McGrath-Phillips Arena.
Notes: Lanski swatted down 22 kills in the match, a career-high and a match-high…the next highest in kills was Villanova’s Maggie Mergen with 17…Bowler picked up a match-high 24 digs…Katie Gamsky and Geiger split assists, registered 19 and 15, respectively…both teams tallied six total blocks while Rachel Aumann, Natalie Rizzo, and Blasi each had a solo block.