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DePaul Drops Four-Setter Versus Visiting St. John's
Junior Anastasiya Shutava finished the match with a season-high nine kills.

Junior Anastasiya Shutava finished the match with a season-high nine kills.

Oct. 6, 2012

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CHICAGO - The DePaul volleyball team got double-digit kill performances from Vesela Zapryanova and Abbie Fleener, but ultimately dropped a tough 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-15) decision to St. John's at McGrath-Phillips Arena on Saturday.

With the loss, the Blue Demons fall to 6-12 overall and 1-4 in the BIG EAST Conference. The Red Storm move to 17-3 overall and remained undefeated in league play.

Zapryanova led the way offensively, notching 12 kills to lead the Blue Demons in kills for the 10th time this season. For Fleener, it was her second-highest scoring output of the fall (11 kills). Anastasiya Shutava also put up a season-high nine kills, while setting a career-best with five block assists.

Laura Witt led the team with 19 assists, while Aubree Hord put together a double-double, her second of the season, with 13 assists and 10 digs. Allyson Rooks paced the defense, getting under 19 balls. Rooks has now reached double-digit digs in 14 consecutive matches from the libero position.

DePaul and St. John's finished the afternoon tied in total blocks, 10-10, while DePaul did itself no favors with 29 unforced errors - the most this season for DPU in a four-set match.

St. John's was fueled by a match-high 17 kill performance from Milica Krstojevic and got double-digit kill totals from two other attackers. The Red Storm also aced the Blue Demons nine times, the most by any 2012 DPU opponent (including six in the deciding fourth set).

In the opening set, DePaul got four kills from Shutava who came out firing and finished with a .571 attack percentage. Still, it was a close set featuring 10 tie scores and eight lead changes.

The Blue Demons pulled away late after breaking a tie at 20-20 on a kill by Rachel Aumann. The Red Storm followed with an error and a kill to make it 22-21, but Shutava connected from the right side to put DePaul up, 23-21. After a service error by Rooks, St. John's tied the set again at 23 but a Shutava kill and Red Storm attack error would give the Blue Demons the win, 25-23.

The second stanza would also come down to the wire and starred Fleener, who led all Blue Demons with five kills in the frame. Trailing 24-19 late, the Blue Demons battled all the way back with four straight points including back-to-back kills from Fleener and Zapryanova. With the outcome uncertain, however, SJU's Karin Palgutova closed the door with a kill to even the match at one set apiece.

In set three, Zapryanova led the way with five kills in a crazy set with nine lead changes. DePaul led by two as late as 15-13 after back-to-back kills by Natalie Rizzo and Zapryanova. St. John's would nab two straight to tie the match at 15, then took the lead for good at 16-15.

The final set featured six aces from the visitors as the Blue Demons struggled to get into an offensive rhythm, finishing with a .045 hitting percentage and just seven kills in a 25-15 loss.

DePaul is back on the court tomorrow, Sunday, October 7, with another BIG EAST opponent on the docket in Connecticut. Match time is set for 2:00 p.m. at McGrath-Phillips Arena.