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DePaul Falls to Marquette in Five Thrilling Sets
Abbie Fleener led DePaul with a season-best 19 kills in DePaul's 3-2 loss to Marquette on Saturday.


Abbie Fleener led DePaul with a season-best 19 kills in DePaul's 3-2 loss to Marquette on Saturday.

Sept. 28, 2013

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CHICAGO - Looking to match the longest win streak in program history, the DePaul Blue Demons came up short in a five-set loss (28-26, 23-25, 18-25, 27-25, 15-9) to visiting Marquette on Saturday. The Blue Demons rallied to win the fourth set, but couldn’t get past the Golden Eagles in the final frame.

In a match that was dominated by offense, the two teams combined for 154 kills in front of the largest crowd of the season at McGrath-Phillips Arena.   Marquette hit for a .387 (81-18-163) clip and the Blue Demons followed with a .310 (73-24-158) attack percentage.  

With both offenses running like well oiled machines, DePaul setter Colleen Smith tallied a career-high 63 assists, while Marquette’s Elizabeth Koberstein notched 69.

Abbie Fleener led the Blue Demon attack with season-best 19 kills, while Vesela Zapryanova (17), Callie Huebener (15) and Natalie Rizzo (10) also finished with double-digit kill totals.

On the defensive end, Genesis Reyes tallied 11 digs, while Allyson Rooks and Smith each added 10 digs apiece for the Blue Demons.

The first set provided a preview for the rest of the night as the two sides traded points until the Blue Demons took a 9-7 advantage. After Marquette scored two straight to knot the score at 9-9, DePaul went on a run and took a 15-10 lead off a Huebener kill.

Marquette tied the set at 17-17 only to see DePaul build a three-point advantage before the Golden Eagles knotted the score at 23-23. The score would be tied three more times before a Marquette attack error followed by a block by Colleen Smith and Natalie Rizzo finished off the Golden Eagles in the first set. Zapryanova led DePaul with nine kills in the first frame.

The second set saw Marquette hold the lead until a kill by Randi Leath, an ace by Rooks and a kill by Zapryanova tied the set at 13-13. DePaul pushed the lead to three at 17-14, but the Golden Eagles rallied and posted a 25-23 second set victory.

After the Golden Eagles posted a 25-18 decision in the third set, DePaul forced a fifth set with a 27-25 fourth set. The Blue Demons held the lead early in the fourth frame and held off Marquette with two kills by Huebener for the final tallies.

The fifth set saw Marquette jump out to a 4-1 advantage, before the Blue Demons ripped off five straight points and took a 6-4 advantage on Natalie Rizzo service ace.  The Golden Eagles answered and closed out the match on a 9-3 win to halt DePaul’s winning streak.

Marquette was paced by its freshman, Autumn Bailey, who led the floor with 29 kills and a .500 attack percentage.  Julie Jeziorowski added 23 digs.

The Blue Demons begin a three-match road swing at Villanova on Oct. 4.  DePaul then travels to Georgetown (Oct. 5) and plays at Creighton on Oct. 11.  The Blue Demons return to Lincoln Park for a non-conference contest with Green Bay on Oct. 15.  

Notes: DePaul has hit at least .310 in nine of its 14 matches… Abbie Fleener had a season-high 19 kills… her previous best was 18 against SIUE… Huebener’s 15 kills were a season-high… Collen Smith tallied her second double-double of the season with 63 assists and 10 digs… the last time a DePaul setter tallied more than 60 assists was Christy Landschoot, who recorded 62 against Marquette on Nov. 1, 2008… DePaul is now 2-1 in five-set matches… the longest win streak in school history is 16 straight in 1978. DePaul entered Marquette game with 15 straight wins… Marquette leads the all-time series by a 29-22 margin... DePaul’s last win against Marquette was a 3-2 win on Nov. 1, 2008.