The Blue Demons hits the road for a pair of BIG EAST Conference matches this weekend. DePaul tangles with Cincinnati on Friday at 6:30 p.m. (CST) and travel to Louisville for a 1 p.m. match on Sunday.
CHICAGO -- The DePaul volleyball team hits the road for a pair of BIG EAST Conference matches this weekend. The Blue Demons tangle with Cincinnati on Friday at 6:30 p.m. (CST) and travel to Louisville for a 1 p.m. match on Sunday.
Louisville and Cincinnati are long-time rivals of DePaul as they were both former Conference USA foes and all three programs moved to the BIG EAST in 2005. Friday’s meeting with the Bearcats marks the 35th meeting between the two programs with Cincinnati holding a 22-12 advantage. The Bearcats (10-5, 0-2 BIG EAST) have won the last seven all-time series matches with the Blue Demon’s last series win coming in 2001 at the C-USA Tournament.
The Cardinals (5-7, 1-1 BIG EAST) have also won the last seven series meetings with the Blue Demons and hold a 17-2 series advantage. DePaul’s last series win came in 2001 when the squad claimed the C-USA Tournament title with a 3-2 victory.
The Blue Demons (1-13, 0-2 BIG EAST) will look for an offensive boast this weekend from junior outside hitter Sarah Cullen. The junior ranks second in the conference with 207 kills (3.70 kps) and registered 27 kills in last week’s league matches. With Cullen getting it done on the outside, sophomore Jacie Fiedler is getting it done in them middle as she ranks seventh in the league with a .341 (163-40-361) attack percentage. The duo has accounted for 54% of the Blue Demon’s kills this season.
Fiedler paced the Blue Demons against Louisville and Cincinnati in 2007. Fiedler tallied a team-high nine kills against Cardinals and netted a team-best .429 attack percentage against the Bearcats.
DePaul enters the weekend on a nine match slide and has lost its last four (dating back to 2007) BIG EAST matches.
Blue Demon Hits
Jacie Fiedler has registered double-digit kill totals in 11 of the Blue Demons’ 14 matches... Fiedler has finished 26 career matches in double-digit kill totals... Sarah Cullen has 10 double-doubles (kills-digs) this season and 18 in her career...Cullen has finished the last 10 matches with double-digit kill totals... the Blue Demons have dropped their last nine matches and last four (dating back to 2007) BIG EAST conference matches... although 1-13, the team has only lost three matches 3-0, while they have played eight, four set and three, five set matches... DePaul lone win is a 3-2 victory over James Madison on Sept. 6.
Bearing down for the Bearcats
Cincinnati opened league play with losses to St. John’s (3-0) and Connecticut (3-2)... squad averages a league-best 1.94 aces per set... Jessie Nevitt ranks second in the conference with a .382 attack percentage and 1.22 blocks per set... against the Blue Demons in 2007, Nevitt netted team-high 18 kills for a .680 attack percentage.
Catching the Cardinals
Louisville spilt its opening weekend, picking up a victory over Connecticut (3-1) before dropping a 3-2 decision to St. John’s... the Cardinals lead the league with 2.69 blocks per set... Lecia Brown and Gwen Rucker are both ranked in the league’s top-10 for blocks... Brown leads the conference with 1.24 bps, while Rucker averages 1.04 bps... Brown registered four block assists against DePaul in 2007.
Sensational Sarah x2
Junior outside hitter Sarah Cullen was named to the DePaul Invitational All-Tournament team after leading the Blue Demons with 54 kills and a pair of double-doubles. Against Ball State, Cullen tallied a career-high 21 kills. For an encore, the junior was named to the Hawkeye/Holiday Inn Challenge All-Tournament team. During the challenge, Cullen average 4.55 kills per set and registered double-doubles against Portland and Tulsa.
Jacie Fielder was named to the all-tournament at the Chicagoland Classic and the Golden Bear Invitational. At the Chicagoland, Fiedler tallied 24 kills and team-best .310 attack percentage. Fiedler outdid her opening weekend performance at the Golden Bear Invitational the following weekend. She again led DePaul with a .415 attack percentage and 42 kills. Against No. 5 Cal, Fielder registered a season-high .667 (14-0-21).
BIG EAST Fiedler
Jacie Fiedler was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll after being named to the Golden Bear Invitational all-tournament team. Fiedler led the Blue Demons with a .415 attack percentage and 42 kills (3.50 kps) in three matches at Cal. Fiedler also led DePaul with five total blocks on the week.
Hawkeye/Holiday Inn Challenge
DePaul struggled at the Iowa tournament, dropping matches to Tulsa, Iowa and Portland State. The Blue Demons pushed Tulsa and Portland State to four sets, but were unable to take home a “W” from the tournament. Sarah Cullen was named to her second all-tournament team of the season by averaging 4.55 kills per set.
DePaul Invitational Review
The Blue Demons stumbled last weekend at the DePaul Invitational, dropping matches to tournament champion UTSA, Ball State and Denver. Junior outside hitter Sarah Cullen was named to the all-tournament team after tallying 54 kills and a pair of double-doubles (kills-digs).
Golden Bear Recap
The Blue Demons grabbed their first win of the season with a 3-2 come from behind victory over James Madison at the Golden Bear Invitational. Jacie Fiedler was named to the all-tournament team after leading the Blue Demons with a .415 attack percentage and 42 kills (3.50 kps) in three matches. Fiedler also led DePaul with five total blocks. DePaul started out the tournament by dropping matches to No. 5 Cal and UC Riverside.
2008 BIG EAST Championship
The 2008 BIG EAST Volleyball Championship will be conducted Nov. 21-23 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The single-elimination tournament includes eight of the league’s 15 teams. The top eight teams, based on regular season conference records qualify for the event and are seeded according to their finish in the league standings. The 26th annual championship will be hosted by the University of Pittsburgh at the Fitzgerald Field House. ESPNU will air the championship game live on Nov. 23. The champion receives the league’s automatic bid to the 64-team NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship.
The Louisville Cardinals are the top choice in the 2008 BIG EAST Volleyball Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Eight of the BIG EAST’s 15 head coaches gave Louisville first-place votes, edging out defending conference champion St. John’s, which had four first-place tallies.