Blue Demons Host UAB and South Florida in C-USA Play
CHICAGO - The DePaul volleyball team takes the court this weekend in two Conference USA matches after suffering its first defeat of the season on Tuesday against Loyola. On Friday, the Blue Demons host UAB at 7:00 p.m. and South Florida on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. DePaul is 9-1 this season and 1-0 in Conference USA play.
Blue Demon Bites
The Blue Demons opened conference play with a thrilling five-game victory over Marquette in Milwaukee last Saturday. The win improved DePaul to 9-0, the best start in school history, and gave the Blue Demons its first win in conference play. In the match, senior setter Kara Jakusz became C-USA's all-time leader in assists. She dished out 49 assists and now has 5,200 career assists to her credit. Senior Christa Dirr pounded 15 kills with a .500 hitting percentage and added three block assists.
Tuesday, the Blue Demons perfect season came to an end with a heartbreaking five-game loss to Loyola 30-27, 24-30, 22-30, 30-27, 15-13. Loyola scored the final five points of the fourth game to extend the match to a decisive fifth game. In the fifth game, the Blue Demons held a 9-4 lead, but the Ramblers stormed back winning the game 15-13 and the match 3-2. Senior Melissa Nordine led the Blue Demons with 21 kills, 14 digs and a .348 hitting percentage. Sophomore Lara Marks added 16 kills, five block assists and a .538 hitting percentage. The loss dropped DePaul's record to 9-1.
The Blazer Beat
UAB enters Friday's contest with a 0-2 conference mark and a 6-4 overall record. The Blazers dropped a pair of matches last weekend to conference foes Memphis and Tulane. On Friday, Memphis downed UAB in four games 30-21, 30-28, 23-30, 30-23. Junior Dina Katsoulis led the Blazers with 18 kills and a .571 hitting percentage. UAB followed that match with a loss at Tulane. The Green Wave swept the Blazers 35-33, 30-24, 30-25. Sophomore Karen Boyd led the Blazers with 12 kills and a .550 hitting percentage. On the season, senior Shelly Greene leads UAB with 144 kills and 138 digs.
South Florida Stats
Last year's regular season C-USA champions are off to a 7-3 start with a 1-0 conference mark. The Bulls are riding a four-match winning streak heading into its match against Marquette on Friday. USF downed Southern Miss in its conference opener 30-25, 30-17, 25-30, 30-17 last Friday. Junior Michelle Collier, the preseason choice for C-USA's Player of the Year, led the Bulls with 16 kills while adding 11 digs. Collier leads the team in kills (189), digs (93) and service aces (17). Junior Alessandra Domingos has distributed 367 assists on the season with a 12.66 assist per game mark.
Head Coach Dawn Dockstader is in her fifth season at DePaul with an overall record of 69-70. She has led the Blue Demons to consecutive 20-win seasons. During the 2000 season the Blue Demons posted a 21-12 overall record and a 10-6 C-USA slate. It marked the first time in a decade that the Blue Demons posted back-to-back 20-win seasons and the first time ever DePaul had consecutive seasons with a double figure victory total in conference.
Last season, DePaul downed UAB during the regular season in three games and in the opening round of the conference tournament in three games. The Blue Demons are 4-1 against UAB under Dockstader but trail the overall series 8-6.
In the only meeting between the teams last season, South Florida swept the Blue Demons in Tampa.
DePaul is 1-3 against the Bulls under Dockstader and trail the overall series 5-2.