DePaul closes Amerihost Classic with sweep
Green Bay - For the second consecutive week, the volleyball team dropped its tournament opener only to follow the loss by winning out the remainder of its games. The Blue Demons topped Western Illinois in its tournament finale 15-10, 15-6, 15-6.
The game served as one for the team to work on regaining its attitude and focus as they venture further into the season. Head coach Dawn Dockstader has been critical of the team's "killer instinct" in recent matches and the Amerihost tournament did not do much to convince her it is regaining/building the mentality it will need head into conference.
"In both of our matches today we played hard and how I expect us to play for the first two games, but we just didn't put them away as I would have liked to see us," said Dockstader.
The team saw its usual cast of performers put up their requisite numbers against the Westerwinds. Stephanie Bishop led all players with 13 kills and 10 digs; it was the fifth straight match she has led the Blue Demons in kills. Melissa Nordine followed her 11 kills performance earlier in the day with 12 more against Western Illinois.
"Mel was just amazing all weekend," said Dockstader. "That was the best she's played offensively as a Blue Demon."
Nordine posted 42 kills, 34 digs, five aces and one solo block with 10 block assists over the weekend, all while continuing to pass and play defense equally well.
"As good as Mel played last weekend (23 kills, eight aces, 43 digs in four matches), she played even better this weekend. That was pretty impressive because I thought last weekend was going to be tough to top," said Dockstader.
Team quarterback, setter Kara Jakusz, added 47 assists in the Western Illinois match. She averaged 14.8 assists per game during the tournament.
"I've got to give Kara a lot of credit. She's the biggest reason we're able to put up the offensive numbers we have been, because she's been making solid decisions with the ball and getting it to the person with the best opportunity to put the ball away," said Dockstader.
For Dockstader, the ability to bury a team when they have them on the ropes remains a concern. "I think we're not completely confident in ourselves yet," said Dockstader. "I think we've got a little of 'are we really as good as people are saying we are' in us."
According to Dockstader, the way for the team to break out and understand its abilities is to get in a close game as they did against Tulsa, but come away with the win.
DePaul's next game will be Tuesday, Sept. 12 at Ilinois.