DePaul Blocks Samford
CHICAGO The DePaul volleyball team recorded a season-high nine blocks in its thrilling 3-2 (24-30, 30-26, 22-30, 30-28, 15-10) victory over Samford, Friday at McGrath Arena. The win is the second consecutive for the Blue Demons (2-5) while Samford falls to 3-4.
The Blue Demons out blocked Samford 9-6 with sophomore outside hitter Sarah Cullen leading the team with two solo blocks and two block assists. Freshman middle blocker Jacie Fielder also finished with four total blocks; a solo and assisted on three.
Cullen and Fiedler proved an offensive threat as both finished with double-digit kill totals. However, it was freshman outside hitter Charla Drabant, who paced the floor and finished with 19 kills. Freshman middle blocker Kate Letcher was also outstanding as she knocked down 18 kills with 10 of those in the fourth game.
DePaul opened with match lethargically as it hit just .171 compared to the Bulldog's .405 and lost the first game 30-23. However the Blue Demons' made some adjustments and won the second game 30-26 behind Cullen's four kills and two solo blocks.
Samford's Sara Sears piloted the Bulldogs to a 30-22 win with seven kills in the third set.
In a must win situation, the Blue Demon's offense heated up, as they registered 31 of their 74 kills in the final two games.
DePaul's offense was ignited by Letcher in the fourth game as she found the wood to give the Blue Demons pivotal side outs. Tied a 22, Letcher blasted her ninth and 10th kills of the game to give DePaul a 24-22 advantage. DePaul would faced game point twice before Fiedler ended the fourth set with an exclamation point, a kill down the line.
The Blue Demons' carried their momentum into the final set; but it was Samford who jumped out to an early 5-2 advantage. DePaul kept its composure and chipped away at the Bulldog lead and tied the game at seven on a Samford attack error. The Blue Demons never looked back and cruised to a 15-10 victory.
Drabant led the defense for the second straight match, tallying 27 digs while freshman libero Katherine Knutson followed with 18. Cullen and setter Christy Landschoot also finished with double-digit dig totals.
Samford libero Courtney Gay tallied 27 digs to lead a trio of Bulldogs that finished with double-digit digs.
Sear's led Samford with 17 kills.
The DePaul Invitational continues on Saturday at 10 a.m. with Samford and South Alabama squaring off. The Blue Demons and Kennesaw State play at 12:30 p.m. and Samford and Kennesaw State tangle at 5 p.m. DePaul closes out the Invitational with a 7:30 p.m. match with South Alabama.