Volleyball Welcomes Pittsburgh and West Virginia

CHICAGO Looking for its first win in BIG EAST Conference play, the DePaul volleyball team welcomes Pittsburgh and West Virginia to McGrath Arena for a pair of league matches this weekend.  The Blue Demons and Panthers square off on Saturday, while the Mountaineers come to town for a Sunday match.  Both matches are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.  Sunday’s match can be seen live www.depaulbluedemons.com.

Blue Demon Hits (1-15, 0-4 BIG EAST)
Sophomore Jacie Fiedler ranks seventh in the league and leads the team with a .329 attack percentage... Fiedler has registered double-digit kill totals in 12 of the Blue Demons’ 16 matches, while she has finished 27 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 11 of 12 matches with double-digit kill totals... Cullen ranks third in the conference by averaging 3.67 kills per set... the Blue Demons have dropped their last 11 matches and last six (dating back to 2007) BIG EAST conference matches... although 1-15, the team has only lost four matches 3-0, while they have played nine, four set and three, five set matches... DePaul lone win is a 3-2 victory over James Madison on Sept. 6.

Pacing the Panthers
Pittsburgh (10-8, 3-1) enters the weekend in a three-way tie for first place in the league standings...St. John’s and Notre Dame are also 3-1 in conference play... the Panthers have won seven of their last eight matches... lead the BIG EAST in opponent hitting percentage holding teams to a stingy .164 clip... Kelly Campbell averages a team-best and ranks eighth in the league with 3.26 kps... Michelle Rossi is second in conference averaging 4.36 dps... Pittsburgh has won all five series meetings with the Blue Demons.

Climbing the Mountain
West Virginia (5-9, 0-3) is one of three teams in the league looking for its first BIG EAST win... DePaul and Rutgers are the other two league teams without a win... WVU faces Notre Dame on Saturday... the team ranks seventh in the league with 1.31 service aces per set... Bonnie West ranks sixth in the conference with 4.05 dps... West Virginia holds a 3-1 series advantage over DePaul... the Mountaineers won last season’s meeting 3-2 and have won the last three series meetings.

Last Time Out
The Blue Demons dropped a pair of BIG EAST road matches last week, falling to Cincinnati 3-0 and Louisville 3-1.  For the weekend, Jacie Fiedler average 1.14 blocks per set while Sarah Cullen added 3.43 kills per set.

Looking a Week Ahead
The Blue Demons host Notre Dame on Thursday, Oct. 16.  The Blue Demons and Irish tangle for the 15th time, while Notre Dame holds a 10-4 series advantage and has won the last six meetings.  The first serve is slated for 7:30 p.m. (CST) next Thursday at McGrath Arena.

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.

All-Tournament Twice
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.

Louisville Favorites
The Louisville Cardinals were 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.



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