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Volleyball Suffers Sweep at Villanova in First BIG EAST Road Match
Senior Vesela Zapryanova tied for a match-high with 14 kills.


Senior Vesela Zapryanova tied for a match-high with 14 kills.

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VILLANOVA, Pa. - Hitting the road for the first time in BIG EAST play, the DePaul volleyball team had a hard time finding a rhythm in a tough 3-0 loss (26-24, 25-18, 27-25) at Villanova on Friday at Nevin Field House.

In a match where the Blue Demons had a chance to take set point eight different times in the first and third frames, senior Vesela Zapryanova tied a match-high with 14 kills. It wasn't enough to help DePaul slow down hot-hitting Villanova, however, as the Wildcats connected at a .331 clip and avenged a home loss in the last meeting between the two teams.

Claire Crutchfield (14 kills) and Lauren Carpenter (13 kills) paced the offense for Villanova, which improved to 10-5 overall and 2-0 in the BIG EAST. It was the sixth win in a row for the Wildcats as they remained undefeated in their home gym.

The Blue Demons dropped to 13-2 overall with the setback and 0-2 in the BIG EAST.

Early on, it appeared the two teams were settling in for a long, back-and-forth affair like the Blue Demons' last outing -- a five-setter against Marquette -- but Villanova was able to put away the critical points in sets one and three to send DePaul to its first 3-0 loss of the season.

In the first frame, Rizzo and Zapryanova each ripped four kills apiece as DePaul dropped a tough one and fell in a quick hole to start the match.

The Wildcats were more efficient, hitting .317 to DePaul's .187, but the Blue Demons nearly came away with the win, leading 24-19, off a Zapryanova kill. Needing just one point to go up 1-0, DePaul fell victim to a miraculous `Nova rally as the Wildcats stole seven straight points to win the set.

In set two, the Blue Demons had a hard time getting their offense going and finished with just eight kills overall as Villanova hit .469 and went up 2-0 heading into intermission with a 25-18 decision.

Set three was a wild one as DePaul refused to go down without a fight. There were 20 tie scores and seven lead changes as Zapryanova blitzed the Wildcats for 10 kills (hittting .333) in a sizzling performance. It wasn't enough, however, as Villanova held off a late Blue Demon surge to escape with their sixth home win of the season.

'Nova led 24-22 when back-to-back kills by Callie Huebener and Zapryanova tied things up and eliminated match point.

Immediately after, an error by the Wildcats gave DePaul its eighth set point of the night. Consecutive errors in crunch time would prove costly, however, as Michaela Berendt landed the match-winning point at 26-25 to repel the Blue Demon rally.

DePaul gets back to action tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 5 at Georgetown. First serve is set for 6:00 p.m. CT.

Match Notes: The Blue Demons were swept for the first time since Nov. 4, 2012 at Seton Hall... Zapryanova finished tied for the match-high with 14 kills, her 10th match with 11 or more kills this season... Rooks posted double figures in digs (13) for the fourth consecutive match... DePaul had set point at eight different occasions in the match... the Blue Demons fall to 1-8 all-time against Villanova... DePaul failed to hit .310 or better for just the sixth time this season...