Volleyball Places Second at UCF Invitational
ORLANDO, Fla. - In a battle of the two remaining undefeated teams playing in the Radisson-UCF Invitational, the DePaul volleyball team dropped its first match of the season to host school Central Florida 3-0. The Blue Demons fall to 2-1 while the Knights improve to 4-0 and were named the tournament champion.
DePaul finished in second place overall, out of the six participating teams. Senior outside hitter Sarah Cullen and junior middle blocker Kate Letcher were voted to the all-tournament team.
Despite registering 40 kills, the team could not overcome UCF's strong team-attack percentage of .256 (37-14-90). DePaul ended the match with a .150 (40-24-107) clip led by Cullen's 11 kills, closely followed by Letcher's 10. Cullen, Chelsea Thurlby and Katherine Knutson tagged on seven digs apiece, defensively, and Letcher led with four block assists. Sammy Geiger paced the offense with 31 assists.
The Blue Demons started off strong in the first game, gaining a 9-4 advantage behind tough serving from Letcher and the reliable swing of Cullen. The Knights went on a run of their own, however, and forced DePaul to take a time out after a service ace from Erin Campbell narrowed the Blue Demon lead to 13-12. Letcher came up with a timely kill to erase one game-point, but a put down from Erin Campbell ended the first game, and gave UCF the 1-0 lead.
In the second stanza, DePaul came out swinging and held a 12-10 kill advantage over the Knights, but attack errors erased its strong hitting. Letcher posted four kills on seven attempts for the Blue Demons, to match Kristin Fisher's put away total for UCF. The Knights took a 2-0 advantage after an attack error ended the game.
Letcher starred for DePaul in the third game, registering two kills and no attack errors. She added a service ace to bring her weekend total to a team-leading six. Chandler Carney also tallied six aces on the weekend. The Blue Demons went point-for-point with UCF until a kill by Nichole Ridel put the Knights up by three. Central Florida put its hitting arsenal to work, as six different student-athletes registered at least one kill for the Knights. Sara Rex clinched the match with a kill to put the game away 25-17.
The Knights were paced by Kristin Fisher, who totaled 11 put aways, while Meredith Murphy contributed 12 digs. Andee Youngblood tallied 31 assists.
Cullen ended the weekend with a team-best 48 kills, while Rachel Aumann registered a team leading attack percentage of .395 (20-5-38). Letcher followed close behind with a .391 clip (37-10-69). Geiger paced the offense with 118 assists. Defensively, Thurlby protected the back court with 36 digs and Letcher totaled 11 blocks.
The Blue Demons return to action on Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. when they face regional rival Loyola-Chicago at the DePaul Challenge taking place in McGrath Arena.