DePaul Wins Home-Opener vs. UNLV
CHICAGO – The Blue Demons (2-5) pulled together Friday night to defeat the Rebels of UNLV (3-4) on night one of the Blue Demon Invitational. DePaul played a solid game all around to top the Rebels 4-1 (30-23,24-30,30-28,30-21).
“This was a great way to start off our tournament and it felt nice to win our home-opener of the season,” Coach Dawn Dockstader said. “It was a an incredible team effort tonight. We came out with a lot of fire, excited to play at home and to defend our court.”
New faces played key roles in the match’s success on Friday. “Cheryl [Przychodni] stepped up and had some huge serves for us.” Przychodni aced the Rebels three times including game point of game three. Amy Holmes stepped in for an injured Meg Griffin against the Rebels. “Holmes was a true force tonight on the right side.” Holmes racked up nine kills, three aces, and 20 digs to help lead the Blue Demons.
Controlling the action for DePaul was setter Amie West. “West did a great job of running the show. She’s moving people around on serve receive and distributing the ball with confidence. She’s really taking control.” West dished out 42 assists and added four kills to the Blue Demon offense.
“Marks and Goreham consistently play hard in the middle. Marks played tough on Ocasio-Clemente to spark our defense,” Dockstader said. “She did a nice job of adjusting her blocking as the match went on.” Marks had eight kills and four blocks while Goreham put down 10 kills and added five digs.
The Blue Demons played a strong defensive match that immobilized the Rebels’ hitters. “Engel and Cotter gave us valuable defensive efforts tonight. They did a great job in left back playing around the block. Their defensive reading was extremely effective.” Cotter picked up 20 digs and added eight kills. Engel put away 19 kills to lead DePaul’s offense and came up with 14 digs.
DePaul’s win reflects the efforts of a team with growing confidence. “We played to win tonight. I was really impressed with how we came out at the beginning of game four with such intensity and confidence,” said Dockstader. “We took charge ourselves without waiting for UNLV to make mistakes and that shows we grew up. We put it on the line and went after it.”
Also on night one of the Blue Demon Invitational, Oregon defeated UW-Milwaukee 4-1.
Play resumes tomorrow for the Blue Demons as they take on Oregon at 2 p.m. and UW-Milwaukee at 7 p.m.