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DePaul Falls to Rutgers, 3-1

CHICAGO - Despite a career-best 13 kills from freshman outside hitter Chandler Carney, and an heroic come-from-behind third-game win, the DePaul volleyball team suffered a 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 23-15, 25-13) loss to Rutgers on Halloween afternoon at McGrath Arena.  The Blue Demons fall to 6-18 (0-9 BIG EAST), while the Scarlet Knights improve to 9-15 (2-7 BIG EAST) on the season.

Carney finished the afternoon with a .258 (13-5-31) attack percentage, while Lauren Blasi tallied 10 kills with a team-best .261 success rate.  Christy Landschoot dished out a season-high 23 assists.  Defensively, Sarah Cullen and Chelsea Thurlby combated the attack with 13 digs apiece, while Kate Letcher denied the offensive effort at the net with a match-best four block assists.

The Rutgers offense was led by Caitlin Saxton, Hannah Curtis and Katie Groff, who each eclipsed the 10-digit kill total.  In addition, Alex Jones added an additional nine kills on a blistering .818 clip.

The Scarlet Knights commanded the first set, building a 7-4 lead behind strong service from Saxton to prompt a Blue Demon timeout.  While DePaul continued to be aggressive at the net, they were unable to establish any offensive rhythm and finished the first stanza with just five kills.  At game-point, a Rutgers service error put the ball back in Blue Demon hands, but Emma Chrystal was able to terminate the final point off an assist from Kallie Pense to put the game away 25-18.  Carney accounted for three kills in the first frame.

Carney continued to dominate DePaul's side of the net in the second game, drilling down five kills in her six attempts.  Despite the strong performance, the Scarlet Knights offered no help, committing just three attack errors the entire set.  While both teams mirrored each other with 12 kills and 15 digs, an early Rutgers run would give them a lead that would not be challenged until a put away from the swing of Blasi would cut the lead to three and force the Scarlet Knights to call a timeout.  The stop in the action put a stop to the Blue Demon momentum, and Rutgers went into the break with a 2-0 lead after taking the second game, 25-19.

It seemed as though the momentum would continue to swing in the Scarlet Knight's favor during the third frame, as they quickly took an 11-6 advantage.  Showing true character, however, DePaul did not give up and continued to inch its way back into the match.  Molly Creek served for four-straight points, while another Blasi kill forced Rutgers to take a timeout.  This time, however, had no effect on the swing of momentum, and Blue Demons took its first lead of the match after Katherine Knutson served for three quick points.  Following another Scarlet Knight timeout, Cullen was able to tack on an additional point with a kill before a sideout would give the serve back to Rutgers.  Sound defense at the net forced an attack error to give DePaul the 25-23 third-game win.

The score teeter-tottered in the opening points of the fourth set, as it featured three ties and two lead changes.  With the score knotted at eight, Rutgers scored six unanswered points, forcing DePaul to spend both of its timeouts.  The Blue Demons, once again, could not find their offensive footing, hindered by a .435 clip posted by the Scarlet Knights.  Saxton tagged down the final kill and gave Rutgers the four-game victory.

The Blue Demons return to action tomorrow, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m. (CST) to face off against Seton Hall.

Noting the Blue Demons
Sarah Cullen leads the team with 264 kills and  and  266 digs... Chandler Carney tacked down a career-high 13 kills against Rutgers... Christy Landscoot dished out 23 assists against the Scarlet Knights to set a new season-high...Cullen has  registered a double-double (kills-digs) in eight matches this season bringing her career total to 35... other Blue Demons to record a double-double include Christy Landschoot (assists-digs) and Sammy Geiger (kills-assists)... Kate Letcher has surpassed the 10-kill total eight times this season... Sarah Cullen has reached double figures in digs during 15 matches this season to lead the squad, while Chelsea Thurlby has reached the plateau 12 times... while Rachel Aumann tops the overall blocks total with 40, Chandler Carney has recorded an impressive eight solo blocks... the all-time series between Rutgers and DePaul is locked at three.