Volleyball Begins 2007 Season in Evanston
CHICAGO - The 2007 DePaul volleyball season swings into action this weekend at the Chicagoland Volleyball Classic in Evanston, Friday and Saturday August 24-25. The Blue Demons serve-up Illinois-Chicago in the season opener on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and play either Loyola-Chicago or Northwestern on Saturday at Northwestern’s Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Chicagoland Classic is a round-robin tournament with the winners of Friday’s matches playing a Championship match on Saturday at 7 p.m. Friday’s loser will play a consolation match at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. This is the fourth annual Chicagoland Classic with Northwestern winning in 2004 and 2005 and Valparaiso, who is not among the tournament field this year, won last season.
DePaul finished the 2006 season with 5-25 and is 24-47 against the 2007 Chicagoland Classic field. The Blue Demons are 15-16 against the Flames and have won nine matches in 31 tries with the Ramblers. Should the Blue Demons and Wildcats face one another on Saturday, DePaul will look for its first win in the series as Northwestern has won all eight previous meetings.
The Blue Demons are a young team as 12 of the team’s 15 players are underclassman. Seniors Stacy Pando and Maureen Zigulich along with junior Caitlin Callaghan are the only upperclassman on the roster. Pando a middle blocker, led the Blue Demons with 72 total blocks and had a team-best 36 service aces in 2006. Callahan is the squad’s top returning defensive player, tallying 223 digs and Zigulich followed with 216 during the 2006 campaign.
Freshman setter Christy Landschoot highlights the nine newcomers on the roster. The 5-11 freshman is charged with running DePaul’s offense after spending the past eight years in the Lions Juniors Volleyball Club system. Landschoot will look for Callaghan, sophomores Sarah Cullen and Kendall Maduzia or freshmen Charla Drabant, Kyndell Highland and Ellise Rhoades on the outside or right side this season.
Pando along with sophomore Ashley Graham and freshmen Jacie Fielder and Kate Letcher are charged with patrolling the middle this season. Zigulich, Katherine Knutson and Caroline Gajzler are all fighting to wear the Blue Demon’s libero’s jersey.
The Blue Demons open at home on September 7 when they host the DePaul Invitational. DePaul welcomes South Alabama, Kennesaw State and Samford for the six-match, two-day tournament.