Volleyball's Comeback Bid Falls Short Against Seton Hall
Nov. 10, 2013
CHICAGO - DePaul volleyball fell just short of a second straight miraculous comeback, losing 3-2 (25-18, 25-17, 15-25, 22-25, 15-8) to visiting Seton Hall on Sunday at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
After coming back from an 0-2 deficit to defeat St. John's on Friday, the Blue Demons tried to work the same formula but came up short in the fifth set this time. A sluggish start combined with 17 errors in the first two sets put DePaul in a 2-0 hole, and more miscues in the fifth set proved costly, as the team tied a season-high with 30 errors.
The Blue Demons were dominant in the third and fourth sets, but ultimately fell to 16-10 (2-10 BIG EAST) with the setback. Seton Hall improved to 13-14 and 4-8 in the conference, getting double-digit kill totals from four different players.
Abbie Fleener was unstoppable when called upon, recording a career-best 24 kills - the most by a DePaul player since 2009 - and hitting .348 on 46 attempts.
Senior Anastasiya Shutava also put together her best match of the year, collecting a season-high 13 kills on a .333 attack percentage. Classmate Vesela Zapryanova added 11 kills, but committed a career-high 13 errors while being limited to an -.047 hitting percentage.
Defensively, senior libero Allyson Rooks continued her strong play with a career-high 32 digs - the most by a Blue Demon since 2010. Another senior, Genesis Reyes, added a season-high 12 digs. Running the offense, Colleen Smith put up 54 assists and contributed seven digs to go with five kills.
After looking out of sorts and committing 17 errors through two sets, the Blue Demons caught fire in set three. Hitting .452 (16-2-31) as a team, DePaul got six kills from Fleener and raced out to a 8-2 lead early. DePaul stretched its lead to 15-4 on a SHU attack error, which led to the Pirates' second timeout of the frame. A kill by Fleener made it 20-9 and the two teams traded points until Randi Leath connected for a kill to seal the 25-15 win.
A scorching fourth frame by Fleener helped DePaul tie the match with a 25-22 victory. The sophomore was 11-for-15 and hit .600, making the difference in a much tighter set. Seton Hall was within one point as late as 21-20 before a timeout and back-to-back kills by Zapryanova and Fleener gave the Blue Demons some breathing room. Still up two a few points later, Leath put the set away off a feed from Smith.
In the fifth, Seton Hall raced out to a 4-1 lead immediately forcing a DePaul timeout. The Pirates eventually built their lead to 9-3 and cruised to a 15-8 win by committing just one error and hitting .346.
The Blue Demons will be back in action next weekend, facing the same pair of opponents on the road. DePaul meets St. John's in Queens, N.Y. on Friday, Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. CT before travelling to South Orange, N.J. for a rematch with Seton Hall on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT.
Notes: DePaul now trails Seton Hall 9-0 in the all-time series... Allyson Rooks' dig total (32) was the most by a Blue Demon since Chelsea Thurlby had 33 vs. Georgia State on Sept. 11, 2010... Abbie Fleener's kill total (24) was the most by a DePaul player since Chandler Carney had 25 against Seton Hall on Nov. 1, 2009... the team's 30 errors tied a season-high... DePaul falls to 4-2 in five set matches... the Blue Demons lost for the first time this season (15-1) when recording more kills than their opponent...