DePaul Volleyball Opens League Play With a 3-1 Loss
QUEENS, N.Y. - The DePaul volleyball team opened its BIG EAST Conference portion of the season against St. John's tonight at the Taffner Field House. Despite jumping to a 1-0 lead after game one, the Blue Demons fell to the Red Storm 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 11-25, 9-25), and drop to an overall record of 6-9 (0-1 BIG EAST).
Chandler Carney tied a career-best with 11 kills, and crushed her previous person-record attack percentage after swinger her way to a .409 (11-2-22) clip. Sarah Cullen reached double-digit figures in kills for the 10th time this season, drilling down a team-best 14 put aways, while contributing on defense with eight digs.
The Blue Demons dominated in the first game, leading by as much as 21-13 before putting the first stanza away 25-23. Carney terminated the ball five times for a staggering .714 (5-0-7) attack percentage.
The score swung back and forth in the opening points of the first set, as neither team was able to accumulate more than a two point lead. With the score knotted at nine, DePaul went on an 8-2 run fueled by three kills at the hand of Carney. The Blue Demons capitalized on nine St. John's attack errors, while only committing two of their own to maintain the lead until the end of the game. With Diana Banya serving, the Red Storm threatened to come back, but Lauren Blasi pounded the final kill to the ground to give DePaul the early advantage.
St. John's and DePaul mirrored each other's offensive efforts in second game, as both teams posted an identical .273 (14-5-33) attack percentage. After falling to an 11-7 disadvantage, the Blue Demons climbed back after Katherine Knutson served for three-straight points. Kills from Gabriela Petkova and Kun Song brought the Red Storm lead back up to 17-14 and forced DePaul to take a time out. The Blue Demons was unable to cut the lead beyond two points, and bowed out 25-20.
Momentum favored St. John's from that point on, as the Red Storm were impressive on the attack and committed just two attack errors in the final two games. In the third, they used a .346 (10-1-26) to cruise to a 25-11 win. In the fourth stanza, the DePaul could not get past the overwhelming .600 (13-1-20) St. John's clip and bowed out 25-9.
Sammy Geiger managed the offense, dishing 32 assists, while Christy Landschoot and Chelsea Thurlby led the defense with 9 digs apiece.
BIG EAST action continues this Sunday, as DePaul tangles with Connecticut at noon (CST) in Storrs, Conn.
Notes: Sarah Cullen reached the double-digit kills plateau for the 10th time this season... Cullen has registered a double-double (kills-digs) in seven matches this season bringing her career total to 34... Chandler Carney improved her career-best attack percentage to .409 (11-2-22) against St. John's... Sammy Geiger raised her career-best kill total to 13 during the victory over NC State... Cullen tops the team in five categories including kills, attempts, points, digs, and service aces... The Blue Demons are 3-2 when playing in four-game matches... St. John's leads the all time series 5-1.