Blue Demons Overtake Red Storm, 3-1
Nov. 9, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. - Junior Vesela Zapryanova led the way with 19 kills as the DePaul volleyball team snapped a three-match losing streak, overtaking St. John's 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-22) in an ESPN3 televised match on Friday at Carnesecca Arena.
The Blue Demons improved to 9-18 overall and 4-10 in the BIG EAST Conference with the win, while St. John's dropped to 19-10 and 7-8 in league play. DePaul also drew even in the season series, 1-1, after dropping a four-setter to St. John's at McGrath-Phillips Arena on October 6.
Zapryanova tied her third-highest offensive output of the season with the match-high 19 kills and was efficient, hitting .273 (19-7-44) to go with 10 digs for her eighth double-double on the season. Senior Rachel Aumann and freshman Abbie Fleener also contributed nine kills apiece as the Blue Demons hit .216 as a team. Junior Allyson Rooks paced the defense with 16 digs.
In set one, DePaul got off to a sluggish start, committing 10 errors en route to a .032 hitting percentage. The Red Storm countered with a three error frame and hit .346 to win by eight in the opener. The set was tied as late as 10-10 before St. John's surged ahead, fueled by a 10-3 run.
The Blue Demons would respond with three-straight set wins to take the match, including a 20-kill fourth set which saw the team hit a blistering .471 (20-4-34).
The Red Storm got out to a 2-1 lead in set two before a block by Fleener and Natalie Rizzo evened things up. On the next point, a St. John's error would give the Blue Demons a lead they would never relinquish. DePaul would take 10 of the next 11 points, racing ahead 12-3 and cruising to a seven point decision, 25-18.
Set three began with another 2-1 lead for St. John's. This time, however, the Red Storm clung to the lead throughout the set until DePaul battled back to tie at 22-22. After trailing by as many as six in the frame, DePaul was clutch when it mattered pulling even on a Zapryanova termination. Freshman Callie Huebener followed with back-to-back kills to set up another Fleener and Rizzo block assist, which clinched the point, 25-22.
The fourth and final frame remained close throughout, featuring nine tie scores and six lead changes. The score was tied as late as 21-21 before the Blue Demons pulled off some more late heroics to clinch the match. Back-to-back kills by Zapryanova and Aumann turned the tie into a two point advantage for DePaul, but St. John's would get back within one on the next possession. With the score 23-22, DePaul got another kill from Zapryanova and forced a St. John's error to finish off the win.
The Blue Demons will be back in action on Sunday, November 11 to wrap up its regular season at McGrath-Phillips Arena with a Senior Day of its own. The Blue Demons will honor Aumann, the lone graduating player on this year's team, with match time scheduled for 1:00 p.m.