West Virginia Tops DePaul
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. Despite freshman middle blocker Jacie Fiedler's season-high 30 kills, the DePaul volleyball team dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 (30-23, 30-26, 26-30, 27-30, 15-13) match to BIG EAST Conference rival West Virginia Friday at the WVU Coliseum. The Blue Demons fall to 4-10 and 0-1 in league play, while the Mountaineers improve to 9-4 and 1-0 in the conference.
Fiedler's 30 kills is the most by a Blue Demon in seven years and becomes just the second BIG EAST player this season to reach the 30 kill mark. Fiedler's remarkable numbers came on 54 swings for a sizzling .500 attack percentage and had just three errors in the match.
With 30 kills, two service aces, four block assists and one solo block Fiedler also set a new school record for points in a match with 35.0. The previous record was 31.0 points which was set by freshman outside hitter Charla Drabant on Sept. 5.
Drabant and sophomore Sarah Cullen also finished in double-digit kill totals as the Blue Demons combined for 71 kills and freshman setter Christy Landschoot dished out 58 assists.
The hard fought and back-and-fourth match saw 37 ties and 19 lead changes before West Virginia won the fifth set 15-13.
Tied at 22 in game one, West Virginia rallied off three straight points to take a 25-22 lead before Drabant pounded down a kill to cut the lead to two. The Mountaineers held on to their lead and won 30-26.
DePaul jumped out to a 5-1 lead in game two, but West Virginia was able to tie the game at 11 on a Blue Demon attack error. The two teams continued to trade side outs and neither team was able to command a lead larger than two points before the Mountaineers went ahead by three on a service ace by Abby Tevis at 27-24. WVU picked up a 30-26 game two victory.
After fighting through 10 tie scores, the Blue Demons took an 18-17 lead on a Drabant kill in the third game. DePaul continued to build its lead and won the set, 30-26 on kills by Drabant and senior middle blocker Stacy Pando. Drabant, Pando and Fielder combined for 13 of the Blue Demons' 16 kills.
Fueled by 12 Fiedler kills and scorching .550 attack percentage in the third game, the Blue Demons won 30-27. Down 9-6, Pando served for six straight points to give DePaul a 12-9 lead. After taking a three point advantage, the Blue Demons strung together a 17-12 run to take a 29-21 lead. DePaul would stall at 29 before Fiedler won the game with a kill.
The Blue Demons zoomed out to a 12-9 lead in the fifth set, but were unable to close out game as the Mountaineers rallied off five consecutive points to face match point. Fiedler answered with her 30th kill of the game, but Mountaineers won the game and match on a Tevis kill.
Tevis lead WVU with 21 kills and Abby Norman followed with 15. Bonnie West led the Mountaineer defense with 31 digs.
Defensively, the Blue Demons had a quartet of players finish with double-digit digs totals. Senior defensive specialist led the team with 19 digs and Cullen followed with 17. Junior Caitlin Callaghan and Drabant each had 14 and Landschoot rounded out the defense with 13 digs.
The Blue Demons travel to Pittsburgh for a 1 p.m. BIG EAST match with the Panthers on Saturday.