Villanova Hands DePaul a 3-0 Loss
CHICAGO - Despite a career-best performance out of freshman outside hitter Chandler Carney, the DePaul volleyball team dropped its BIG EAST Conference home opener to Villanova, 3-0 (17-25, 23-25, 25-27). The Blue Demons fall to 6-11 (0-3 BIG EAST), while the Wildcats improve to 12-4 (1-2 BIG EAST).
Carney, who set a career-high .409 clip against St. John's last weekend, re-set it tonight at McGrath Arena following an 11 kills performance. She finished the night hitting a team-best .429 (11-2-21) attack percentage. Sammy Geiger managed the offense with 30 assists, while Christy Landschoot and Sarah Cullen each went to work on defense with eight digs apiece.
Villanova got off to a quick start, following two aces from Kim Maroon to start the match. DePaul was able to fight back to the tie behind kills from Carney and Geiger, but were never able to take the lead. Following a 4-0 Wildcat run, the Blue Demons spent a timeout to break up the momentum. After that, Rachel Aumann would tally a kill for the sideout, allowing Cullen to serve for two more points, but Villanova closed the first game 25-17.
The Wildcats were able to build a 6-3 lead in the second frame, but DePaul used strong defense at the net to force a number of attack errors to climb back. A put away from Molly Creek would give Katherine Knutson the opportunity to serve an ace, and tie the score back up at nine. The score continued to teeter totter all the way to the end, but back-to-back kills from Maggie Mergen and Maria Nolan would give Villanova the 2-0 lead heading in the break.
With a new found tenacity, DePaul sprinted out to an 11-5 lead in the third game, forcing Villanova to call a timeout. Although the Blue Demons held onto their lead for the majority of the stanza, the Wildcats continued to creep back point by point. Back-to-back kills from Elysse Studzinski would shrink the DePaul lead to one, and effectively cause the Blue Demons to take a timeout of their own. The score registered even for the first time at 20, following a Studzinski kill, but Wildcat attack errors and a put down from Carney would set up game-point for DePaul. Mergen eliminated the opportunity with a kill, and two straight points from Villanova would conclude the match, with the 27-25 third-game win.
Mergen paced the floor with 12 kills and an impressive .579 (12-1-19) attack percentage. Studzinski and Krista Anderson would also finish in double-digit figures. Maroon led with 16 digs and three service aces.
DePaul continues with BIG EAST competition next weekend, when they host Louisville on Fri., Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. (CST), followed by a 2 p.m. Sunday match versus Cincinnati.
Notes: Sarah Cullen ranks ninth in the BIG EAST with 3.29 kills-per-game... Chandler Carney improved her career-best attack percentage to .429 (11-2-21) against Villanova... the Wildcats lead the all-time series against DePaul 5-0... Cullen has reached the double-digit kill plateau on ten occasions this season... she has also registered a double-double (kills-digs) in seven matches this season bringer her career total to 34... other Blue Demons to record a double-double in clued Christy Landschoot (Assists-Digs) and Sammy Geiger (kills-assists).