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Volleyball Sweeps Rutgers

CHICAGO   DePaul freshman outside hitter Charla Drabant registered 21 kills in the Blue Demon's 3-0 (30-18, 30-28, 33-31) BIG EAST Conference victory over Rutgers, Sunday at McGrath Arena. The win snaps DePaul's eight-match loosing streak while the team improves to 5-13 and 1-4 in conference play.  Rutgers slides to 4-12 and 1-5 in the league.

Big swings highlighted the match as DePaul recorded 60 kills behind freshman setter Christy Landschoot's 51 assists. The Blue Demons hit a sizzling season-high .316 team-attack percentage as no starter recorded a hitting percentage below .285. Sophomore Sarah Cullen and Drabant both finished with double-doubles. Cullen tallied 10 kills and paced the floor with 22 digs, while Drabant added 12 digs to her 21 kills for her seventh double-double of the season.

The Blue Demons dominated the first game behind the hot hand of Drabant, who tallied seven of the team's 16 kills in the set. DePaul hit a sweltering .421 with Caitlin Callaghan, Kate Letcher and Drabant all hitting over .500.  Conversely, Rutgers started the match cold and hit .133 on 14 kills. After taking the first point, the Blue Demons built a lead as large as 12 points and won the set 30-18.

Game two saw DePaul crush 23 kills and keep long rallies alive with 22 digs.  The Blue Demons took a 17-10 lead, but the pesky Scarlet Knights would not go away and pulled within one at 22-21 on an Amanda Meyer kill.  Composed and on a mission, DePaul would not surrender its lead and won the game 30-28 on a Fiedler kill.  Fiedler and Cullen each recorded five kills while Drabant tallied six.   

After trailing for all of game three, the Blue Demons battled back and tied the game at 29 on a block by Letcher and Drabant.  DePaul's first lead of the game came at 30-29 and the team would face match point on two more occasions before Letcher smashed her third kill of the game to give the Blue Demons a 33-31 victory.  Drabant led all players with eight kills, while Fiedler registered a game-high .500 attack percentage.

Kyra Thompson led Rutgers with 15 kills and 10 digs.

Today's conference win is the first for DePaul since the 2005 season when the Blue Demons defeated USF, 3-2 on October 23.  Previous to today, DePaul had lost 24 straight conference matches.

The Blue Demons return to the court next weekend, traveling to Syracuse and Marquette for a pair of BIG EAST matches.  DePaul clashes with the Orange on Friday at 6 p.m. and tangles with long-time rival Marquette on Sunday at 2 p.m.