CHICAGO With Halloween celebrated today and children dressing as demons and goblins, the Blue Demons welcome the Golden Eagles and Orange to McGrath Arena for BIG EAST Conference matches this weekend. DePaul squares off with Marquette on Saturday while Syracuse invades Lincoln Park on Sunday. Both weekend matches are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
The Blue Demons (3-19, 1-8 BIG EAST) are 28-22 all-time against Marquette and Syracuse; however the Golden Eagles have won the last seven series meetings and the Orange have won the last three matches against the Blue Demons.
Blue Demon Hits
Sarah Cullen has finished the last seven matches with double-digit kill totals while she has recorded double-digit kills in all but two matches this season ... Cullen has 14 double-doubles (kills-digs) this season and 22 in her career...Cullen averages 3.69 kills per set which is the second best average in the league... her 310 kills is the third most in the conference... Kate Letcher leads the Blue Demons and ranks fourth in the league with 0.40 aces per set... Jacie Fiedler has registered double-digit kill totals in 14 of the Blue Demons’ 22 matches; while she has finished 29 career matches in double-digit kill totals... Fiedler’s .722 (14-1-18) clip against Chicago State was the second best hitting performance by a BIG EAST player this season... Fiedler ranks fourth in the league with a season .335 (240-63-529) attack percentage.
Soaring with the Golden Eagles
Marquette (8-13, 2-6 BIG EAST) is 3-7 in its last 10 matches... handed St. John’s its only conference loss of the season on Oct. 3... Ashley Fisher ranks fifth in the conference averaging 3.53 kills per set... Tiara Russell’s 1.06 blocks per set ranks sixth in the league... Marquette has won the last 10 series meetings with the Blue Demons, while DePaul holds a 27-18 all-time series advantage.
Syracuse (14-11, 5-3 BIG EAST) enters the weekend on a nine-match road winning streak and has won seven of its last 10 matches... Sarah Morton ranks second in the conference with a .390 (252-62-487) clip... The Orange rank second in the league averaging 2.50 blocks per set... Hayley Todd and Morton both rank in the league’s top 10 for blocks in a set... Syracuse holds a 4-1 series advantage over DePaul and has won the last three series matches.
The Blue Demons started last week with a 3-0 victory at Chicago State on Oct. 21 before dropping league matches at Seton Hall 3-0 on Oct. 25 and Villanova 3-1 on Oct. 26. Sophomore Jacie Fiedler hit a scorching .486 hitting percentage and collected a team-high 40 kills for the week. Against Chicago State, Fiedler struck a .722 clip (14-1-18), the second best hitting performance by a BIG EAST player this season. The sophomore was error free against Villanova, spiking 17 kills at a .567 percentage.
Looking a Week Ahead
While the World awaits the closing of the polls in the United States, the Blue Demons and Valparaiso will square-off for bragging rights on Tuesday, Nov. 4. The teams tangle at 7 p.m. in McGrath Arena. The Hall of Fame Foyer in Sullivan Athletic Center is a polling station in Lincoln Park so the normal fan entrance will not be used. Fans will be redirected to the circular door just north of the regular entrance.
BIG EAST Honor Roll
Sarah Cullen was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll after leading the Blue Demons to a 1-1 record the weekend of Oct. 11-12. The Blue Demons dropped a tough 3-2 match to Pittsburgh, but bounced back and swept West Virginia the following day. Cullen paced the Blue Demon offense with 33 kills, while she chipped in 21 digs and four service aces. Cullen joins Fiedler as the only other DePaul player to earn the conference honor this season.
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.
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.