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Volleyball Travels To Illinois
The Blue Demons will travel to Champaign, Illinois to participate in the Illini Classic this weekend.
CHICAGO -- The Blue Demons will travel to Champaign, Illinois to participate in the Illini Classic this weekend. DePaul will play two evening matches; the first against tournament host Illinois on Friday night and then depending on the outcome will play either Evansville or WakeForest on Saturday. All matches will be played at Huff Hall.
The Blue Demons come to Champaign with high hopes of improving upon last weekend’s performance and coming home this weekend as tournament champions. Last weekend the Blue Demons put up some impressive numbers including 3.05 blocks per game but were unable to terminate the ball in long rallies.
Senior Middle, Lara Marks put up exciting numbers, averaging 2.73 kills per game and knocked down a .309 hitting percentage. She also had 3 solo blocks and 13 assisted blocks; averaging 1.45 blocks per game. Marks ended the weekend with 40.5 points and a member of the Morehead Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Last weekend also saw notable performances by junior outside hitter Janet Goreham and red-shirt freshman Ellen Hayes. Goreham had 30 kills on the weekend, hammered down a .253 hitting percentage and averaged 1.09 blocks per game. Hayes, the team’s libero, hit the floor with 43 digs over the weekend. Against FurmanUniversity, Hayes was able to pass up 17 digs.
DePaul will take on tournament host Illinois on Friday night. Illinois comes into the weekend 2-1. Last weekend the Fighting Illini defeated both Illinois Sate and Clemson 3-1 but lost to Nebraska 3-0. This will be the forth time that the Blue Demons and the Fighting Illini will meet. The Fighting Illini lead the series 3-1. The last time these two teams met was October 9, 2001 at DePaul. Illinois won the match 3-1.
Illinois returns nine letter winners including seniors, Lisa Argabright, Shelly O’Bryan and Melissa Vandrey. The Illini ended its season 13-16 and ninth in the Big Ten.
DePaul’s other possible opponents are Evansville and WakeForest. WakeForest comes into the tournament 3-0 after hosting the Deacon Invitational. The Deacon’s topped Kentucky and Tennessee Tech 3-0 and SMU 3-1 during the weekend.
WakeForest returns 12 letter winners including sophomores Valerie Rydberg and Christy Williams. Rydberg averaged 2.96 kills, 2.93 digs and .41 service aces per game. Williams was named the ACC- rookie of the year.
This will be the first time that DePaul will face the WakeForest in competition.
The Purple Aces of Evansville come to Illinois with a 1-2 record. Last weekend Purple Aces defeated Western Illinois 3-2 but were unsuccessful against Drake (3-1) and Eastern Illinois (3-0). This will be the forth time that DePaul will face the Purple Aces, with Evansville leading the series 3-1. The last time these two teams met was the Blue Demons season opener in 2000. The Purple Aces won in five games.
This is the first season for Head Coach, Mike Swan at the helm of the Purple Aces program. Evansville returns six letter winners, including two starters including sophomore Erica Haukap. Haukap finish eighth in assists in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Evansville finished the 2002 season with a record of 5-27 and ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Tournament Format: All Games to be played at Huff Hall