Blue Demons Conclude Denver Invitational
DENVER - The DePaul volleyball team concluded the Denver Invitational on Saturday, by dropping a pair of 3-0 matches to tournament host Denver and Auburn at Hamilton Gym. The Blue Demons fall to 0-5 on the season.
Freshman outside hitter Charla Drabant led the Blue Demons offensively, tallying 19 kills on the day. Drabant knocked down 10 kills against Denver and registered a team-high nine kills versus Auburn. Freshman middle blocker Jacie Fielder directed the Blue Demons' offensive output with 14 kills against the Pioneers. The freshman duo combined for 36 of the team's 71 kills on Saturday.
DePaul had its best hitting performance of the day against Denver, knocking down 43 kills for a .150 attack percentage. However, Denver put together timely runs to win the match 3-0 (30-25, 30-23, 30-21). Holly Benson paced the Pioneers and the floor with 19 kills and a .390 hitting percentage. Benson also led all players with 22 digs in the match.
Tied at 10 in game one, the Pioneers (3-2) strung together an 8-1 run, fuelled by three kills by Alyssa Hampton and a pair of kills by Benson. Denver went on to win the first game 30-25.
The Pioneers built on their momentum in the final two sets; winning the second game 30-23 and the third set 30-21. The Blue Demons opened up an 11-9 lead in the third game, but Denver scored seven unanswered points to steal DePaul's energy. DU won the final game 30-21.
DePaul freshman defensive specialist Katherine Knutson recorded 10 digs and Drabant tallied 17 in team's loss to Denver.
The Blue Demons were unable to find their offense in the nightcap with Auburn. DePaul hit a dismal .057 in the match while the Tigers hit .226 and had three players finish with double-digit kill totals. Auburn's Rachel Shanks led the floor with 14 kills, while Jenna Sekulic and Jessica Glover followed with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Auburn won the final game of the tournament 3-0 (30-20, 30-19, 30-22)
After winning the first two points in game one, the Blue Demons were unable to stop the Tigers as they scored seven unanswered points and took a 7-2 lead. Auburn (5-2) continued to build on its lead and capitalized on 13 Blue Demon attack errors to win the first game 30-20.
Auburn won the second game 30-19 behind five kills from Sekulic.
The Blue Demons jumped out to an early 15-12 lead in the final set; but the Tigers rallied off six unanswered points to take a 18-15 lead. Auburn would not relinquish its lead again and won the final set 30-22.
DePaul travels to DeKalb, Illinois for a 7 p.m. regional match with Northern Illinois on Wednesday.
The Blue Demons opens the home portion of their schedule September 7-8 when they hosts the DePaul Invitational at McGrath Arena. The Blue Demons welcome Kennesaw, Samford and South Alabama for the two-day, six match tournament. DePaul tangles with Samford at 7:30 on Friday.