Blue Demons Defeated in Three by Bearcats
Oct. 2, 2011
CHICAGO – For the second straight match, a solid third set effort wasn’t enough for the DePaul volleyball team as the Blue Demons fell in straight sets to visiting Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon at the McGrath-Phillips Arena. With the loss, DePaul drops to 4-12 overall and 1-3 in BIG EAST Conference action so far this season while the Bearcats move to 12-6 and 4-0 in the BIG EAST.
In the first set, DePaul found itself in an early hole. The Blue Demons went up 5-2 at the start but the Bearcats went on a convincing 8-0 run to snag a 10-5 lead. DePaul senior Lauren Blasi, who finished the day with a team-high .320 hitting percentage, briefly halted the Cincinnati run with her second of eight kills on the day.
“Lauren did good things offensively and defensively in the match,” DePaul head coach Nadia Edwards said following the contest. “She was able to hit .320 and had no errors for us so I think she was kind of the go-to person that we needed to ride in moments when we were doing well and even when we needed points.”
Despite Blasi’s work on offense, however, the Bearcat lead proved insurmountable. Cincinnati’s Missy Harpenau added two service aces near the end of the set while three Bearcat kills closed out the frame at 25-11.
In the second frame, the Blue Demons kept the score close in the early goings with a tie coming as late as 8-8. After a kill by Harpenau to make it 9-8 in favor of the Bearcats, Cincinnati went out to grab a commanding lead. With Cincinnati leading 14-10, Harpenau took over on the serve and closed out the set with four service aces.
For the second consecutive match, DePaul came out in the third set firing on all cylinders. The Blue Demons fought to keep it even with the Bearcats. DePaul and Cincinnati found themselves knotted at 15-all before a 5-0 Bearcat run to make it 20-15. Blasi continued to put forth a solid effort to contain Cincinnati—she swatted down two kills late in the frame—but the Bearcats offense proved too formidable as they collected match point at 25-17.
On Cincinnati, Edwards acknowledged the Bearcats’ complex offense, noting that they did things on offense that the Blue Demons could not defend. However, Edwards also commented that “[the Blue Demons] have to be ready to go in any given moment against any team.” She continued, “We’ve got to play our best volleyball.”
After three straight home weekends, DePaul now hits the road to take on West Virginia in Morgantown on Friday, October 7. Following that 6 p.m. contest, the Blue Demons then head to Pittsburgh to face off against the Panthers on Sunday at 1 p.m.