Kate Letcher Leads the Blue Demons to a 3-2 Victory Over James Madison
BERKELEY, Calif. Sophomore middle blocker Kate Letcher tallied 17 kills as the DePaul volleyball team fought its way to a 3-2 (15-25, 20-25, 25-13, 25-23, 15-10) victory over James Madison, Saturday at Cal’s Haas Pavilion. DePaul (1-4) grabbed its first win of the season and finishes the Golden Bear Invitational in third place, while James Madison (2-5) took home fourth place honors.
The Blue Demons showed heart and determination as they fought back from a two set deficit for the victory. Hitting just .068 in the first two sets, DePaul did an offensive 180 and finished the match with .219 attack percentage and three players registered double-digit kill totals. Letcher led the trio with a match and season-high .500 attack percentage. Sophomore Jacie Fiedler, who was named to the Golden Bear Invitational all-tournament team, tallied 12 kills, while junior Sarah Cullen chipped in 11.
With the match on the line, the Blue Demons turned it up offensively in the third set hitting, .370 as a team. Tied at 12, Cullen served for eight consecutive Blue Demon points as the squad pulled to a 20-12 advantage. With Cullen serving up a single ace during the eight-point swing, Letcher came to the service line and served up three straight aces to give DePaul a 25-13 victory.
The fourth set was the closest as there were seven ties and two lead changes before the Blue Demons came away with a 25-23 victory. After DePaul raced to an early 5-1 advantage, the two teams went point-for-point and tied at 23 Cullen served up her second ace of the match for set point. With victory in reach, senior Caitlin Callaghan put an exclamation point on the win with her fourth kill of the frame.
Feeding on their offensive momentum from the fourth set, the Blue Demons hit a sizzling match-high .435 in their 15-10, fifth set victory. Christy Landschoot and Cullen put on an offensive clinic as they combined for nine of the Blue Demons’ 12 kills in the set. Sitting at match point, Landschoot terminated the ball for the set and match victory.
Landschoot dished out 46 assists and recorded 12 digs. Katherine Knutson guided the defense with 15 digs and Cullen tacked on an additional 12.
Lindsay Callahan and Kelsey McNamara led James Madison with 12 kills apiece.
The Blue Demons open their season in Lincoln Park next weekend by hosting the DePaul Invitational. DePaul welcomes Denver, UTSA and Ball State for a two-day tournament. The Blue Demons open play with UTSA on Friday at 7:30 p.m.