Blue Demons Celebrate Senior Class, Cap Season in Loss to Xavier
Nov. 23, 2013
CHICAGO - Seniors Natalie Rizzo and Vesela Zapryanova each posted 10 kills to lead DePaul volleyball on Senior Night, but the team fell 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-21) to visiting Xavier on Saturday at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
Zapryanova just missed her fourth straight double-double with 10 kills and nine digs, while Rizzo capped her career as efficient as usual with 10 kills on an errorless night (10-0-14). Her hitting percentage of .714 was a season-high.
Senior Allyson Rooks paced the defense with 16 digs. She finishes her career 12th all-time in program history with 1,143 digs. Another senior, Laura Witt, finished with 17 assists and seven digs running the offense.
Xavier closes its regular season at 21-10 and 12-4 in the BIG EAST and was led by a match-high 12 kills from Alex Smith, who hit a crisp .800 (12-0-15).
Zapryanova opened the match firing, ripping off five kills in a tight set that feature four ties and two lead changes. The Blue Demons went up 6-5 early off an ace by Lexi Chanos, but Xavier responded by taking six-of-nine points to go up 11-8 on a kill by Alex Smith.
DePaul battled back late, however, getting within one point at 19-18 on a kill by Randi Leath. Trailing 21-19, howevever, Xavier closed out the win with a 4-2 spurt.
Xavier cruised in set two, 25-14, with a sizzling .382 (14-1-34) hitting percentage. DePaul led 6-3 early off a kill by Leath and was as close as 16-13 before Xavier pulled away with a set-clinching 9-1 run.
Set three was another close one, as the score changed hands twice and was tied on six occasions. DePaul led as late as 15-14 on a XU error, but dropped five straight points afterward to fall behind 19-15. The Blue Demons pushed back, and got to within one, 22-21, on a set error by Xavier before dropping the final three points to close out the match.
DePaul finishes its season at 16-14 (2-14 BIG EAST), the first winning season for the Blue Demons since 2001.
Notes: Rizzo hit .714 (10-0-14), which was a season-high... she finishes her career with 290 total blocks, the most by any Blue Demon since the program joined the BIG EAST in 2005... her season hitting percentage of .325 was the second-best single season mark in DePaul history... Rooks' capped her career with 16 digs to finish with 1,143 digs (12th all-time in DePaul history)... as a team, the Blue Demons concluded the year with a .241 attack percentage which stands second in program history...