Demons Down Butler; Finish 3-1 at Butler Invite
Indianapolis-In the team's final match of the Butler Invitational, the DePaul Volleyball team defeated the hosts in four games (8-15, 15-2, 15-9, 15-13).
"That was an amazing game," said head coach Dawn Dockstader. "We beat a great team by coming out aggressive and playing tough all around."
While the end result was positive, the start of the first game saw the Demons begin the game a bit on their heels. "It took us about five points to get warmed up, but after that, the girls went after and played to win. That was nice to see after playing tentative and not to lose against Evansville, yesterday," said Dockstader.
After falling in the first game, DePaul served much tougher and forced Butler on the defensive. The result allowed the Blue Demons to control points and leap out to a 13-1 lead. The game winning final two points proved hard to come by, as Butler buckled down and proceeded to make DePaul earn the game. From that point on in the match, each point for both sides became hard fought.
As the match wore on, the DePaul front line increasingly took over and culminated in making the difference in the fourth game. The team's primary outside hitters, Stephanie Bishop, Katie Engel and Meg Griffin combined for 22 kills in the game with Bishop leading the trio with 10. Bishop led all players with 20 kills and led in digs with 24.
"That was Stephanie at her best. She was just begging for the ball in the fourth game," said Dockstader. "That's the type of performance we expect from her; the ability to simply take over a game."
Feeding Bishop and the other hitters was setter Kara Jakusz who tallied 66 assists in the match, including 24 in the fourth game. Jakusz didn't start as quickly as she would have liked, but closed the first weekend of competition averaging 12.1 assists per game-she had 15.6 apg in the final two matches.
Another player whose contributions don't necessarily show up in the boxscore was Melissa Nordine. "Mel was amazing all weekend. She does so much for on offense and defense and she served exceptionally well," said Dockstader.
Nordine amassed 43 digs and eight aces over the weekend while setting up the team's offense with her service reception.
DePaul's record stands at 3-1 (0-0 C-USA). The Blue Demons' next game is Friday, Sept. 8 at the Wisconsin-Green Bay Invitational. They play Tulsa at 5 p.m.