Blue Demons Defeat South Florida in Thrilling Five-Game Match
CHICAGO -- The Blue Demons volleyball defeated South Florida in a five-game thriller Saturday night. DePaul came from behind to defeat the Bulls 21-30, 25-30, 30-26, 30-27, 15-10.
Coach Dawn Dockstader said, "This is a huge step for our program tonight. I'm very proud of the team and the way we never stopped believing after falling behind 0-2. We showed a lot of poise and character to pull this match out."
After dropping the first two games, DePaul turned the tide beginning in game three. With the scored tied 22-22, the Blue Demons scored eight of the game's final twelve points to pull out a 30-26 victory. Senior Kara Jakusz led the Blue Demons with three huge kills turning the tide of the game.
The fourth game was a back-and-forth battle. The two teams fought to a 26-26 score with the Blue Demons scoring four of the game's final five points for the 30-27 victory. Junior Katie Engel led the way with four of her 14 kills in the game.
In the final game, DePaul used a 4-0 spurt to take a 12-7 lead and never looked back. Senior Christa Dirr pounded two of her team-high 16 kills leading the Blue Demons to the victory.
Jakusz added, "This was a very exciting win and a great team effort. We definitely learned from the Loyola game and never quit."
Jakusz finished the night with six kills and 59 assists. Dirr added two block solos and block assists along with a .364 hitting percentage while Engel hit a .333 with 9 digs. Senior Stephanie Bishop was huge defensively adding 23 digs.
"Kara turned the tide in game three when our hitters were struggling," said Dockstader. "She took control of things and helped give us some momentum. I thought Dirr did a great job focusing and playing physical this weekend. She was huge. Engel had a great offensive game tonight. She helped carry us while Bishop was awesome defensively tonight with her 23 digs. This was a big win for us.
The win moves the Blue Demons to 11-1 on the season and a perfect 3-0 in Conference USA. South Florida sits at 8-4 with 2-1 conference mark.
Next up the Blue Demons host Charlotte on Friday and East Carolina on Saturday. Both games begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Athletic Center.