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DePaul Volleyball Hosts First BIG EAST Weekend
Sophomore setter Laura Witt set career-highs in assists (52), digs (18), kills (5) and attempts (14) on Wednesday night vs. Green Bay


Sophomore setter Laura Witt set career-highs in assists (52), digs (18), kills (5) and attempts (14) on Wednesday night vs. Green Bay

Sept. 28, 2012

Saturday, September 29       Sunday, September 30
marquette-logo

Syracuse Orange
Opponent Record: 8-8*
Venue: McGrath-Phillips Arena 
Location: Chicago
Time: 2:00 p.m. CST
All-time Series: Syracuse leads, 7-2

LIVE STATS | VIDEO

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Marquette Golden Eagles
Opponent Record:10-3*
Venue: McGrath-Phillips Arena
Location: Chicago
When: 2:00 p.m. CST
All-time Series: DePaul leads, 28-21

LIVE STATS | VIDEO

*denotes record as of September 28

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CHICAGO - DePaul volleyball welcomes conference rivals Syracuse and Marquette this weekend, as the Blue Demons look to snap a four-match losing streak at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

The Blue Demons meet Syracuse on Saturday, September 29 at 2:00 p.m. and will host Marquette - a 2011 NCAA Tournament team -on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 2:00 p.m.

0-2 in the BIG EAST, DePaul will have home court advantage as it looks for its first conference win of the year. The Blue Demons enter the weekend 5-10 overall with a 1-3 mark at home, but are just two wins away from matching their entire 2011 win total. That trend of overall improvement has carried over to BIG EAST play under third-year head coach Nadia Edwards (one win in 2010, three wins in 2011).

Scouting the Orange
New coach Leonid Yelin has led Syracuse to an 8-8 record. The Orange are coming off a five-set win against Niagara to snap a three-match losing streak.

Led offensively by Silvi Uattara, who has 168 kills, the Orange have four offensive options with 120+ kills this fall. Emily Betteridge runs the offense and has 415 assists on the season. Defensively, Melina Violas leads the team with 160 digs.

Syracuse leads the all-time series with DePaul, 7-2.

Scouting the Golden Eagles
Fresh off the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011, Marquette is 10-3 overall and 1-0 in the BIG EAST.

Marquette has four offensive options with 119+ kills, and Lindsey Gosh leads the attack with 149. Gosh also has a dangerous serve with 26 aces on the season. Elizabeth Koberstein directs the offense and has 524 assists. Julie Jeziorowski leads the defense with 236 digs.

As a team, Marquette leads the BIG EAST in kills per set (14.09), hitting percentage (.256) and assists per set (12.98).

DePaul leads the series with Marquette, 28-21.

Team & Individual Career Nights
Despite a five-set loss on Wednesday, DePaul volleyball received career-best performances from nine different players and put up some numbers that hadn't been seen in a Blue Demon box score in quite some time.

• Senior Rachel Aumann stood out from the pack, recording a career-high 20 kills which toppled her previous mark of 17 - set against St. John's back on Oct. 31, 2010.
• Setter Laura Witt also had one of her best matches as a Blue Demon, dishing out a career-high 52 assists and getting under 18 balls for a career mark in digs. The sophomore setter also put up career marks in kills (five) and attempts (14).
• Junior libero Allyson Rooks surpassed her previous career mark of four with seven assists against the Phoenix.
Genesis Reyes, a defensive specialist, dug 16 balls for a career best.
• Freshman Abbie Fleener set a new career best with nine kills, surpassing her previous mark of eight versus Indiana State - the second match of her career. Fleener also tied career-highs with 28 swings, three block assists and two digs.
• Freshman Aubree Hord set a new personal mark with 13 digs.
• Junior Vesela Zapryanova had two block solos to notch a career-high - she had previously recorded one block solo in a match on six different occasions.
Briana Spruill took the most swings of her Blue Demon career (25) and also set personal bests in aces (two) and digs (five).
Natalie Rizzo had a career-best five digs.
• As a team, the Blue Demons put up 90 digs - the most for DePaul since recording 89 versus Rutgers on November 5, 2011.

Double-Double Trouble
Two newcomers, junior transfer Vesela Zapryanova and freshman Callie Huebener, have combined for eight kill-dig double-doubles in the Blue Demons' 15 matches. Each outside hitter now has four on the year.

Over the past two weekends, setters Laura Witt and Aubree Hord have both posted the first assist-dig double-doubles of their Blue Demon careers. For the season, Witt has posted four. Hord picked up her first career double-double (14 assists, 11 digs) at No. 10 Louisville on Friday, Sept. 21.

In the Demons' 15 matches, DePaul has gathered 14 double-doubles total and has at least one in 11 competitions -- including each of the past four.

By comparison, in 2011, the Blue Demons recorded six double-doubles all season. Then-senior Lauren Blasi led the Blue Demons with two kill-dig double-doubles (setter Katie Gamsky had four assist-dig double-doubles).

Super `Nova
Junior transfer Vesela Zapryanova has made an instant impact for DePaul. Last Monday, Zapryanova was named to the weekly BIG EAST Honor Roll for her performance at the Loyola Rambler Challenge.

At the two-day tourney, Zapryanova led the Blue Demons to a pair of sweeps and paced the offense with 3.70 kills per set. It was the first BIG EAST weekly award for DePaul volleyball since Sarah Cullen was selected to the honor roll on October 13, 2008.

She leads the team in kills (185), kills per set (3.14) and total attempts (566). The Sofia, Bulgaria-native also ranks second on the team in aces (14) and is second in digs (141).

Zapryanova was named to All-Tournament teams over three straight weekends from Aug. 31-Sept. 15 (First State Skyhawk Invitational, Chicago Classic, Loyola Rambler Challenge).