The DePaul volleyball team heads to Texas for the Rice Tournament this weekend in Houston. The Blue Demons face host Rice on Friday at 7:00 p.m. (CST) before playing intrastate rival Illinois State and Texas-San Antonio on Saturday.
CHICAGO – The DePaul volleyball team heads to Texas for the Rice Tournament this weekend in Houston. The Blue Demons face host Rice on Friday at 7:00 p.m. (CST) before playing intrastate rival Illinois State at 10:00 a.m. and Texas-San Antonio at 4:00 p.m. Saturday.
The tournament pits former Sycamore High School teammates, DePaul freshman Sarah Cullen and Rice sophomore Jessica Holderness across the net from one another. Cullen has played in each of the Blue Demons three matches this season and is averaging 3.62 digs per game and has dished out 28 assists. Holderness played in the middle last season before shifting to the outside in 2006. During Holderness freshman campaign she averaged almost two kills per game.
Scouting the Blue Demons
Record: 0-3, 0-0 BIG EAST
Head Coach: Amy Kleyweg (1st Season)
The Blue Demons struggled in their opening weekend, dropping matches to Loyola-Chicago, Valparaiso and Illinois-Chicago, 3-0. The Blue Demons were paced by seniors Ellen Hayes and Morgan Ingersoll during the two-day tournament. Hayes led DePaul with 28 kills for a .214 attack percentage and chipped in 28 digs. Ingersoll tallied 26 kills and was credited with five total blocks. Sophomore libero Maureen Zigulich led the defense with 41 digs and junior middle blocker Stacy Pando notched nine total blocks.
Facts on File
2006 Record: 1-2, 0-0 C-USA
Head Coach: Genny Ferris (3rd Season)
Series: Tied 1-1
Last Meeting: 9/14/91: DePaul W, 3-0
The Owls roster is full of youth as nine of the 13 players are underclassman and just one senior. Sophomore Karyn Morgan led Rice last weekend with 32 kills and averaged 2.20 digs per game. In the Owls win over Nichols State, Morgan led the team with 12 kills and a .391 attack percentage.
2005 Record: 1-3, 0-0 Missouri Valley
Head Coach: Sharon Dingman (7th Season)
Series: Illinois State leads the series 5-1
Last Meeting: 10/7/03: Illinois State W, 3-1
The Redbirds enter the weekend after notching their first win of the season on Wednesday against Northern Illinois. Illinois State is led by Mary Catherine Richmond and Kari Staehlin. The duo has combined for 108 of the Redbird’s 214 kills. Richmond’s defensive efforts have not gone unnoticed as she has chipped in 39 digs and 12 blocks. Staehlin is a wall at the net, leading the team with 16 total blocks.
2005 Record: 2-2
Head Coach: Laura Neugebauer-Groff (5th Season)
Series: DePaul leads the series 1-0
Last Meeting: 9/1/01: DePaul W, 3-2
UTSA comes into the weekend with the most wins of the tournament field, defeating Syracuse and Louisiana Tech in its opening weekend of play. Seniors Meagan Daniel and Connie Piccard paced the Roadrunners with 50 kills apiece. Daniel chipped in nine service aces while Picard led the team with 12 total blocks.
BIG EAST Preseason Poll
Notre Dame was selected by the league’s head coaches to win the 2006 BIG EAST Conference volleyball regular season crown. The Irish return three starters from last year’s BIG EAST Championship squad that posted a record of 30-4 and enter the preseason ranked 21 in the College Sports Television/American Volleyball Coaches Association (CSTV/AVCA) preseason poll.
BIG EAST Championship
The University of Cincinnati will play host to the 2006 BIG EAST Championship at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. The top eight teams, according to league records, will participate in a single-elimination tournament to be held Nov. 17-19.