Blue Demons Suffer 3-1 Loss to Ball State
CHICAGO Despite a career-high 21 kills from Sarah Cullen, the DePaul volleyball team fell to Ball State 3-1 (25-23, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22), Saturday at McGrath Arena. The Blue Demons slip to 1-6, while Ball State improves to 3-7.
Both teams terminated the ball well as Ball State combined for a .274 attack percentage while four players finished in double-digit kill and dig totals. Alisha Green led the Cardinals with 16 kills and Brittany McGinnis notched a floor-high 17 digs.
DePaul registered a season-high .250 hitting percentage with Lauren Blasi and Christy Landschoot recording attack percentages over .300. Blasi finished with a season-high .348 to lead the Blue Demons, while Landschoot hit .333 and dished out 44 assists.
Being aggressive at the net, Ball State came out on fire hitting over .300 in the first set before the Blue Demon defense picked up and stymied the Cardinals’ progress. Down 20-15, DePaul put together a 7-3 run and pulled within one on Kate Letcher’s fourth kill of the set. With the Cardinals at set point, they committed an unforced error, but the Blue Demons’ served the ball into the net to give Ball State a 25-23 set one victory.
Cullen stepped it up in the second set and tallied six for the Blue Demons 10 kills. As well as Cullen was swinging, she could not make up for the Cardinals dynamic offense as they finished with match-high .364 attack percentage. Ball State tallied 18 kills on its way to a 25-20 set two victory.
The two teams battled in the third set as it was tied 11 times and there were seven lead changes. Down 23-21, Fiedler registered her fourth kill of the set to give DePaul its 22nd point of the match.
With momentum starting to swing the Blue Demons’ way, Ashley Graham and Christy Landschoot created a wall at the net and tied the set at 23. Ball State reached set point first, but a service error would knot the set again, before Cullen terminated her seventh kill of the set. Graham and Blasi gave the Blue Demons the set victory with the teams fourth block of the match. DePaul won the third set 26-24.
Down 18-12 in the fourth set the Blue Demons fought back and tied the set at 21 on Jacie Fiedler’s service ace. During the nine point swing, Fiedler notched four kills, a pair of block assists and a service ace to fuel the Blue Demon rally. Tied a 21, Ball State forced two DePaul errors and terminated a pair of balls for the 25-22 set and match victory.
Graham had a career day for the Blue Demons. She played in all four frames and recorded her first collegiate starts the second, third and fourth sets. Graham tallied two kills, three digs and assisted on three blocks.
Cullen led DePaul’s defense with 13 kills, while Landschoot chipped in 10. Letcher finished with four block assists to lead the Blue Demons at the net.
The Blue Demons close out the DePaul Invitational with a 7:30 p.m. match with Denver. Denver is 1-1 in the tournament, while the Blue Demons are 0-2.