DePaul Earns Second Place at the Challenge
CHICAGO - Clemson won the DePaul Challenge with a 3-0 (25-9, 25-18, 25-13) victory over DePaul, Saturday at McGrath Arena. The Tigers went 3-0 during the weekend, while Kelsey Murphy was named the MVP of the tournament after compiling a weekend total of 93 assists and 11 blocks. With the win, Clemson improves to 5-1, while the runner-up champion Blue Demons fall to 3-3.
DePaul's Kate Letcher and Lauren Blasi were voted to the all-tournament team for DePaul. Letcher tallied 28 kills over the course of the weekend, while Blasi added 27. Additionally, Letcher was a force at the net, tallying eight blocks to lead the Blue Demons.
Sarah Cullen terminated the ball a total of 40 times in the past two days, adding eight kills during the final match against Clemson. On defense, she also paced DePaul with 45 digs. Sammy Geiger ended the weekend tournament with 107 assists.
Other all-tournament honorees, as selected by a coach's vote, included Clemson's Natalie Patzin and Didem Ege, as well as Natalie Poundovich of third place Loyola-Chicago.
After defeating Loyola-Chicago earlier this afternoon, 3-1, DePaul found itself in a battle for first place with the Tigers. Swinging well from the first serve, the Tigers hit a blistering .500 in the first set while the Blue Demons in stark comparison hit a dismal -.032. Clemson jumped out to a 9-1 advantage on five kills, two service aces and a pair of Blue Demon errors. Never able to find its stride, DePaul bowed out 25-9. Cullen tallied three kills to lead the team
The Blue Demons were able to capitalize on Tiger attack errors and work its way to an 8-4 advantage after a service ace, courtesy of Letcher. Clemson was forced to take a time out after Blasi terminated to ball to make the score 11-6. After the break, the Tigers went on a 6-1 run to knot things up at 12 and force the Blue Demons to use a time out of their own. After exchanging the next few points, Clemson was able to pull ahead and take a commanding 2-0 lead, after claiming the second stanza 25-18.
DePaul was unable to overcome the Tiger's stellar .440 clip (14-3-25) in the third. Clemson clinched the tournament championship after finalizing the last set, 25-13.
Clemson dominated the game with its precision hitting and finished the game with 39 kills and a sizzling .368 attack percentage. In addition to the strong offensive attack, the Tigers were sound defensively as well, denying the attack a staggering 11 times. Alexa Rand paced the floor with 8 (1-7) total blocks.
Earlier this evening, Loyola-Chicago defeated Western Illinois, 3-0 to secure third place.
The Blue Demons return to action on Sept. 11-12, when they travel to Raleigh, N.C. for the N.C. State Classic. DePaul tangles with tournament host N.C. State on Friday morning at 11 a.m. (CST)