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Volleyball Hosts Blue Demon Invitational

Game Notes
Blue Demon Invite

CHICAGO- The DePaul volleyball team will welcome Birmingham Southern, Eastern Illinois, Xavier and Western Illinois to the DePaul Athletic Center for the Blue Demons Invitational, Friday and Saturday.  The Blue Demons are scheduled to play four matches during the two-day tournament and look to improve upon their 4-4 record.

“We are excited to be home and have four teams participating in our tournament.  There will be some great volleyball played here this weekend,” Head Coach Dawn Dockstader said.  “Each of these teams, are extremely well coached and have come to Chicago ready to play.”

DePaul opened the season with a perfect 4-0 record, but have come up short in its last four matches, including two that took to five-games. 

Statistically, the Blue Demons are defeating their opponents in two (kills and assists) of the three (service aces) offense categories and both (digs and blocks) defensive categories.  The most impressive statistic is DePaul’s ability to hold its opponent to an average .163 attack percentage, while nailing down a .223 of its own.  Defensively the Blue Demons are averaging 2.32 blocks per game as opposed to their opponents who are only registering 1.87.  

Senior middle blocker Janet Goreham leads the offense with a .313 hitting percentage and 102 kills.  She also averages a team high 1.37 blocks and 4.58 points per game. 

The Blue Demons will face Birmingham Southern (4-3) and Eastern Illinois (5-2) on Friday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively.  Birmingham Southern is in its first season of Division I play and is led by junior outside hitter Jana Smelley.  Smelley leads the team with 84 kills and 2.67 digs per game.  Senior outside hitter Erin Gerth leads Eastern Illinois with 4.85 kills per game and 115 digs.

Xavier (3-5) has a deceiving record as two of its losses came at the hands of No. 25 Ohio State and Georgia Tech, who is receiving votes in the AVCA/CSTV Coaches Top 25 poll.  Sophomore middle blocker Astyn Bjorklund leads the Musketeers with a .303 hitting percentage and averages 2.64 kills per game. The Blue Demons will face off against Xavier at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

DePaul will close out the invitational on Saturday evening against Western Illinois at 7:00 p.m.  WIU (2-7) has played all nine of its matches on the road and will play six more before opening its home schedule.  Western is led by sophomore defensive specialist Jennifer Alexander, who averages a team high 6.27 digs per game. 

Last season DePaul finished the Blue Demon Invitational in third place behind Tennessee, Miami (Ohio) and ahead of IUPUI. 

Blue Demon Invitational Schedule
Friday, September 17
 12:00   Western Illinois vs. Eastern Illinois
 2:00     DePaul vs. Birmingham Southern
 5:00     Western Illinois vs. Xavier
 7:00     DePaul vs. Eastern Illinois 

Saturday, September 18
 10:00   Western Illinois vs. Birmingham Southern
 12:00   Eastern Illinois vs. Xavier
 2:00     DePaul vs. Xavier
 5:00     Eastern Illinois vs. Birmingham Southern
 7:00     DePaul vs. Western Illinois