Zapryanova and Blue Demons Fight Off Bulls
Oct. 26, 2012
CHICAGO - Vesela Zapryanova tallied a career-high 22 kills and led the DePaul volleyball team to a 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-14, 25-22) BIG EAST Conference win over USF on Friday at McGrath-Phillips Arena. The Blue Demons have won two of their last three matches, improving to 8-15 and 3-7 in league games. USF falls to 13-11 and drops to 5-6 in BIG EAST games.
Zapryanova dominated the match with her hard-hitting attack while the junior registered a .318 hitting percentage to pace the floor. With the Blue Demons swinging .291 (54-17-127) for the match, setter Laura Witt dished out 39 assists while she also found Callie Huebener for 12 kills. Huebener paced DePaul with her .333 attack percentage.
On the defensive, Genesis Reyes paced the floor with a career-high 18 digs while Tyler Graham and Zapryanova each tallied nine digs. DePaul tallied eight total blocks while Natalie Rizzo patrolled the net with four block assists while Rachell Aumann and Anastasiya Shutava each added three block assists.
The Blue Demons played catch-up in the first set as they were unable to muster much offense. The Blue Demons trailed by as many as eight points (17-9) before putting together a 9-3 run to pull within two on back-to-back Zapryanova service aces. DePaul would not get any closer and the Bulls took the first stanza, 25-21.
DePaul came out motivated to erase the first stanza and did so with a match-high 20 kills and hit for an explosive .452. Highlighted by eight thunderous kills from Zapryanova, the Blue Demons junior hit .385 in the frame while Huebener was perfect at the net with her four swings. Down, 18-16, the Blue Demons got kills from Shutava, Huebener and Aumann to take the lead for good, and would win the set 25-20.
DePaul carried its momentum into the third set and was efficient at the net, hitting .400 for the stanza. Led again by Zapryanova -- who tallied four kills in the set -- Natalie Rizzo, Shutava and Huebener also added two kills apiece while the Blue Demons totaled 12 in their exciting and dominating 25-14 win.
Trading points in the early portion of the third set-- Zapryanova got behind the service line and served for six straight points which catapulted the Blue Demons to a commanding 14-6 lead. The Blue Demons' advantage did not dip below six points the rest of the way.
Zaprynova opened the fourth set with three consecutive kills which would set the tempo for the final stanza. DePaul never trailed in the set and led by as many as five points, however the Bulls made it interesting and pulled within one, 22-21.
Looking for some separation, Aumann tallied her seventh kill of the evening, but USF answered with a kill of its own. The Blue Demons would reach match-point on a USF attack error, while a well-placed tip from Witt would lead to the final point of the match.
USF hit .291 for the match and was led by Kayla Walton's 17 kills. Ciara Brown led all players with her .529 attack percentage and totaled nine kills.
The Blue Demons return to the court on Sunday when they host a 2 p.m. matinee against Pittsburgh.