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Fleener's Hot Hand Leads Volleyball Past Hoyas, 3-0
Abbie Fleener led all players with 16 kills, hitting a blistering .433 in DePaul's first BIG EAST win of the season.


Abbie Fleener led all players with 16 kills, hitting a blistering .433 in DePaul's first BIG EAST win of the season.

Oct. 5, 2013

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Abbie Fleener landed a match-high 16 kills and helped DePaul sweep its 10th match of the year, as Blue Demon volleyball made quick work of hosting Georgetown in a 3-0 (25-21, 29-27, 25-13) decision on Saturday at McDonough Arena.

After opening their road swing with a 3-0 loss at Villanova on Friday, the Blue Demons recovered by hitting .330 -- including a blistering .500 in the third set -- to improve to 14-2 overall and 1-2 in the BIG EAST. Georgetown's Lauren Saar gave her team 15 kills in the loss, which dropped the Hoyas to 6-10 on the season and 0-3 in the conference.

Fleener was an offensive force, hitting .433 and contributing three block assists to go with her match-high 16 kills. Senior Vesela Zapryanova supplemented the attack with 11 kills, while classmate Natalie Rizzo added eight on just 11 swings for a .545 hitting percentage.

Sophomore setter Colleen Smith produced 41 assists and added nine digs in a solid all-around outing, as the Blue Demons got more defense from Zapryanova (8 digs) and Allyson Rooks (9 digs).

DePaul also got it done at the net, out-blocking Georgetown 10-6 -- the third time the Blue Demons have recorded 10 or more blocks in a three set match this season.

In the first set, DePaul hit .323 and got four kills from Fleener in a 25-21 win. Trailing 4-3 early, three consecutive Hoya errors opened up a 6-4 lead DePaul would never relinquish. Maintaining the advantage throughout, the Blue Demons were up 23-20 when a Fleener kill brought up set point. Georgetown got one back on a kill by Saar before committing a fatal service error to fall behind 1-0 in the match.

The second frame saw the Blue Demons hit .233 and commit a match-high seven errors, but still escape with a 29-27 win in a tight set that featured nine tie scores and five lead changes. Leading 24-22 after a Fleener kill, the Hoyas were able to prolong things with the help of a DePaul error and block assist.

A Rizzo kill gave DePaul set point again at 25-24, but back-to-back service errors by both teams kept the gym in suspense as DePaul clung to a 26-25 lead. Two straight kills by Saar and Annalee Abell then gave Georgetown its first chance at set point and led to a Blue Demon timeout.

Coming out of the stoppage, DePaul swung the match back into its favor with a kill by Rizzo and a block assist leading to the clinching point -- a kill by Zapryanova to give the Blue Demons a 2-0 lead heading into intermission.

Pumped up from a big set victory, the Blue Demons caught fire in the deciding frame, committing just one error and hitting .500 in a decisive 25-13 win.

Next up for DePaul will be a third-straight road match at Creighton on Friday, Oct. 11 in Omaha, Neb. Match time is set for 7:00 p.m. CT.

Match notes: The 3-0 win marked DePaul's first conference sweep since Oct. 28, 2011 at St. John's and sixth since joining the BIG EAST in 2005... DePaul trails 8-5 in the all-time series between the two schools, but has won two of the past three meetings... the win was DePaul's first BIG EAST win at Georgetown in the series... the Blue Demons have now swept 10 opponents on their 2013 schedule, their most sweeps since 2000... DePaul hit .330 in the win, its highest hitting percentage against a BIG EAST opponent since connecting at a .353 clip on Nov. 16, 2008 in a 3-1 home win versus St. John's...