Volleyball Hosts Saint Louis and Memphis
CHICAGO – Conference USA volleyball actions heats up this weekend as the DePaul Blue Demons welcome both the Saint Louis Billikens and the Memphis Tigers. The Blue Demons have their work cut out for them this weekend as they have reached a pivotal point in the season where every match becomes important. As the season wines down the 10-13 and 2-4 C-USA Blue Demons are trying to secure a spot in the C-USA volleyball tournament.
DePaul is currently tied for ninth in the conference, with rival Marquette. However they are two wins away from moving back up to the top half of the conference standings. If the Blue Demons can go 2-0 this weekend they will be back in the fight for fifth place with UAB, TCU, USF and Huston.
This weekend could be a milestone weekend for Head Coach Dawn Dockstader. Dockstader will be going for her 100th career win. She compiled her 99th win against Loyola on the road October 14th. When she records her 100th win she will join the ranks of two other C-USA coaches. USF’s Nancy Mueller and Cincinnati’s Reed Sunahara have also reached the 100 mark this season. Dockstader has been at the helm of the Blue Demon program for seven years.
The Blue Demons are coming off a 1-2 record last week. Prior to last weekend DePaul was on a three game winning streak, defeating C-USA foes, Charlotte and East Carolina. However their biggest win came against Loyola.
DePaul defeated Loyola for the first time since 1990 on Tuesday, October 14th. The Blue Demons were emotionally led by the seniors, Lara Marks, Meg Griffin, and Janet Cotter. The three-some posted 29 of the teams 60 kills.
The team traveled south to face-off against C-USA opponents Southern Miss and Tulane last weekend, however they were unsuccessful in both matches, falling in four games.
Junior Amie Holmes had a great week posting two double-doubles (kills/digs) in three matches. Holmes averaged a .299 hitting percentage on 34 kills. She also notched a career-high 22 digs against Tulane and posted 49 digs for the week.
DePaul will take on Saint Louis Friday evening. The Billikens come into the weekend winless in C-USA. Saint Louis fell to UAB and USF last week both in three games.
Saint Louis averages 14.2 kills per game and they are led by Ashley Hunter. Hunter nets 2.66 kills per game and ranks fourth on the team in total digs, with 198. Freshman, Angela Powers is tied with junior, Alexis Cooley for the team high .219 hitting percentage.
The Billikens setter Erin McClanahan averages 10.55 assists per game. McClanahan recorded her 11th double-double of the season in the match against UAB. She notched 19 assists and 10 digs against the Blazers.
Last season Saint Louis beat DePaul 3-1. The two teams have faced off 24 times with the series tied at 12.
Memphis is off to one of the best starts in school and conference history, at 22-2, and 4-1 with their only loses coming against Arkansas State and C-USA rival TCU. The Tigers went 3-0 last week, defeating UAB, USF and Ole Miss. .
Memphis is led by outside hitters, junior Tiara Gilkey and senior Brittany Barnett. Gilkey leads the team in kills with 343 and a hitting percentage of .297. Barnett is second on the team yielding a .273 hitting percentage.
The Tigers are ranked 19th in the nation in team assist, netting 15.07 per game. Junior setter Heather Watts currently is ranked 13th in the nation for assists per game. She averages 13.32 per game.
Memphis has a mean serve. The team is ranked 17th in the nation averaging 2.30 service aces per game.
This is the 17th time that the Blue Demons and the Tigers have met; the Tigers lead the series 11-5. Last season Memphis defeated DePaul 3-0.
Balls on the Wood
The Blue Demons hit a season high against the UIC Flames on Tuesday, September 16th as a team they hit .434. The last time a DePaul team hit over .400 was against East Carolina, October 12, 2002.
Junior Janet Goreham leads the Blue Demons with a .289 hitting percentage. Goreham has 184 kills on the season and only 53 errors. Senior Janet Cotter leads the Blue Demons in total kills recording 297 kills while sophomore Mandy Moorberg trails her with 281 kills.
Senior Lara Marks leads the Blue Demons and is ranked second in C-USA averaging 1.28 blocks per game and has recorded 111 blocks this season. Marks has also moved up to third on DePaul’s all-time career block assists adding 90 assists this season to the 232 she had prior to the 2003 season. Marks is also tied for fifth on the all-time career block solo list. She has tallied 84 block solos in her career.
Getting Down on the Ball
The Blue Demons made a defensive stop against UW-Green Bay recording a season high 102 digs. Red shirt freshman Ellen Hayes lead the defensive show notching a season and career high 29 digs. Four other Blue Demons recorded double digit dig totals during the UW- Green Bay match.
Setting People Up
Putting up the Big Numbers in 2003
All-Tournament Team Honors