Blue Demons Begin 2008 at the Chicagoland Classic
CHICAGO -- The DePaul volleyball team swings into action this weekend at the Chicagoland Classic. The Blue Demons are slated to tangle with tournament host Loyola-Chicago on Friday at 7 p.m. and play either Northwestern or UIC on Saturday at Loyola’s Gentile Center.
The Chicagoland Classic is a two-day, four-match tournament where the winners of Friday’s matches play Saturday at 7 p.m. and Friday’s losers play a consolation match at 4:30 p.m. This is the fifth annual Chicagoland Classic with Northwestern winning in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Valparaiso, who is not among the tournament field this season, won the Classic in 2006.
The Blue Demons are 24-49 against the 2008 Chicagoland Classic participants. DePaul is 15-17 against the Flames and has won nine matches in 32 chances with the Ramblers. Should the Blue Demons and Wildcats meet on Saturday, DePaul looks for its first win in the series as Northwestern has won all eight prior contests.
DePaul's lone senior Caitlin Callaghan welcomes four freshmen to a young roster that features five sophomores and just three juniors. Sophomore middle blockers Jacie Fiedler and Kate Letcher played a key role in the Blue Demons’ 2007 success. Although the team’s 7-21 record is not indicative of its growth, Fielder and Letcher rewrote the DePaul record book.
Fiedler finished her freshman season with a .307 attack percentage, the third best single-season percentage in school history. Fielder also became the first Blue Demon in seven years to register 30 kills in a single match. In that same 30-kill match, Fiedler set a school record by notching 35.0 points (30 kills, two service aces and four block assists). With her precision attack, Fiedler concluded seven of DePaul’s 28 matches with an attack percentage above .400.
Letcher also made her impact felt as she terminated a school-record .833 attack percentage with 10 kills and no attack errors. Letcher’s record-breaking performance shattered Dana Klavitis’ record which stood for 22 years. Letcher also led DePaul with 64 total blocks.
Since 1982, the Blue Demons are 14-12 in their season openers.