Blue Demons Set to Open BIG EAST Play at Home
Sept. 23, 2011
CHICAGO – After last weekend’s DePaul Invitational concluded, the Blue Demons volleyball team has been preparing itself for one thing—the start of BIG EAST play. DePaul opens conference action on Saturday with a 2 p.m. matchup against Villanova before taking on Georgetown at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The Blue Demons look to open league play with two early victories to get a head start in the BIG EAST. The Wildcats (8-5) have gotten the best of the Blue Demons since the two squads began meeting in 2005, with Villanova compiling a 6-0 record all-time against DePaul. The Hoyas (8-5) took last season’s matchup in four sets and have amassed a 7-3 all-time record versus the Blue Demons. Georgetown comes to DePaul after an afternoon matchup against Notre Dame on Saturday.
Despite a 3-10 record in nonconference action so far this season, DePaul has had its share of ups, including back-to-back sweeps against Loyola-Chicago and Montana State. In its three wins overall, DePaul has hit at a solid .294 percentage while holding its opposition to just a .209 percentage.
In those same victories, the Blue Demons have seen strong offensive performances from freshman Amy Lanski and sophomore Natalie Rizzo. Lanski, a Ventura, Calif. native, picked up her second all-tournament team honor last weekend after previously garnering an all-tournament nod at the Cleveland State Tournament. Rizzo has also contributed on the defensive side this season as she has collected a team-high 36 blocks (four solo blocks, 32 block assists). Also on the defensive front, junior libero Kelsey Bowler has averaged over four digs per set so far this season and 178 total.
This weekend marks the second of three consecutive weekends that DePaul will play at home. Following their matches against Villanova and Georgetown, the Blue Demons will welcome in two more BIG EAST foes in Louisvlle and Cincinnati on Friday and Sunday, respectively.