DePaul Departs For Second BIG EAST Road Trip

Oct. 18, 2012

Friday, October 19       Sunday, October 21
villanova logo Villanova Wildcats
Opponent Record: 10-12 (4-3 BIG EAST)
Field: Jake Nevin Field House  
Location: Villanova, Pa.
Time: 6 p.m. CST
All-time Series: Villanova leads, 7-0



Georgetown Hoyas
Opponent Record: 6-14 (0-7 BIG EAST)
Field: McDonough Arena
Location: Washington, D.C.
When: 1 p.m. CST
All-time Series: Georgetown leads, 7-4


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CHICAGO - The DePaul volleyball team will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak when they head east to face Villanova and Georgetown in a pair of BIG EAST Conference matches on Friday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 21.

The Villanova match is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start on Friday, and the Blue Demons will have a quick turn to face Georgetown at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

DePaul is coming off a three set loss to Notre Dame last week and will be looking to avoid setting a season-high with a fifth consecutive loss.

The Blue Demons have at least one double-double in seven of their past nine matches and will tie their win total from all of 2011 with a victory this weekend. The Blue Demons have already won 30 total sets in the 2012 season, eclipsing the 29 sets DePaul took from opponents in 2011.

Last Time Out
Notre Dame outlasted DePaul 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 26-24) on Friday at McGrath-Phillips Arena to improve to 13-6 and 6-1 in conference action.

Led by Callie Huebener's career-high three solo blocks, the Blue Demons outblocked the Irish, 10-7, including 6-3 in the third set. Four different Blue Demons recorded six kills to lead the team, as junior Natalie Rizzo posted an error-free night and hit .375.

Scouting the Wildcats
Fresh off a BIG EAST win against Pittsburgh last weekend, Villanova has won five of its past seven matches. As a team, the Wildcats are hitting .158.

Freshman outside hitter Lauren Carpenter leads the offense with 224 kills (2.77 per set) and is one of five Wildcat options with 111 or more kills. Ally Moskitis has a dangerous serve with 29 aces. Emma Pettit runs the offense and has recorded 530 assists, while Mariah Henley paces the defense with 451 digs.

Villanova leads the all-time series 7-0.

Scouting the Hoyas
Georgetown has lost 13 straight matches since beginning the season 6-1 and is still looking for its first BIG EAST win of the season (0-7).

The Hoyas are led sophomore OH Alex Johnson, who averages 3.71 kills per set to rank fourth in the BIG EAST. Dani White is a strong presence at the net, ranking second in the conference with 1.17 blocks per set. Setter Haley Lowrance leads the offense with 823 assists (10.83 per set) and has a dangerous serve (28 aces), as the Hoyas have three players in the top-10 in the BIG EAST in aces.

Georgetown leads the all-time series 7-4.

Double-Double Trouble
Two newcomers, junior Vesela Zapryanova (5) and freshman Callie Huebener (4), have combined for nine kill-dig double-doubles in 20 matches.

Sophomore setter Laura Witt has also recorded five assist-dig double-doubles since Sept. 14. Freshman Aubree Hord picked up her first career double-double (14 assists, 11 digs) at No. 10 Louisville on Friday, Sept. 21 and added another on Saturday, Oct. 6 versus St. John's (13 assists, 10 digs).

In the Demons' 20 matches, DePaul has gathered 16 double-doubles total and has at least one in 14 competitions -- including seven of its past nine.

By comparison, in 2011, the Blue Demons recorded six double-doubles all season. Senior Lauren Blasi led the Blue Demons with two kill-dig double-doubles (Katie Gamsky had four assist-dig double-doubles).

Super `Nova
Junior transfer Vesela Zapryanova has made an instant impact for DePaul. On Monday, Sept. 17, Zapryanova was named to the weekly BIG EAST Honor Roll for her performance at the Loyola Rambler Challenge.

At the two-day tourney, Zapryanova led the Blue Demons to a pair of sweeps and paced the offense with 3.70 kills per set. It was the first BIG EAST weekly award for DePaul volleyball since Sarah Cullen was selected to the honor roll on October 13, 2008.

She leads the team in kills (244), kills per set (3.17) and total attempts (720). The Sofia, Bulgaria-native is also third in aces (18) and second in digs (183).

Zapryanova was named to All-Tournament teams over three straight weekends from Aug. 31-Sept. 15 (First State Skyhawk Invitational, Chicago Classic, Loyola Rambler Challenge).

Rise of Rizzo
After hitting .240 a season ago, Natalie Rizzo has been the most efficient of all DePaul attackers in 2012. The junior middle leads the team and ranks fourth in the BIG EAST with a .342 hitting percentage (139 kills, 35 errors, 304 attempts). The last DePaul offensive player to finish a season over .300 with at least 100 attempts was Jacie Fiedler in 2008 (.356). The Lombard, Ill.-native is also tied for the team lead with 21 ace serves.

Rooks' Run
Since taking over at libero on September 1 versus Troy, junior Allyson Rooks has been a rock defensively for the Blue Demons. The Zeeland, Mich. native has reached double-digits in dig for the past 15 matches as a starter, and for the past 16 overall. She also set a career-high, getting under 21 balls in a 3-0 win against USC Upstate on September 14.



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