Volleyball Falls to USF
CHICAGO Freshman middle blocker Jacie Fiedler led the DePaul volleyball team with 17 kills, but the Blue Demons suffered a 3-0 (30-16, 35-33, 30-26) BIG EAST Conference loss to USF on Saturday at McGrath Arena. The Bulls improve to 16-7 overall and 7-4 in the conference, while DePaul falls to 6-19 overall and 1-10 in league play.
Despite knocking down 51 total kills, the Blue Demons were unable to find an offensive rhythm over the course of the match as they committed 26 attack errors and hit .176 overall. In contrast, USF managed 54 kills while hitting .352 on the match with 11 attack errors. Three Bulls registered double-digit kill totals as Marcela Gurgel led the team with 15 kills, Kristina Fabris followed with 12, and Nakia Williams finished with 11 kills and a sizzling .588 attack percentage.
Junior outside hitter Caitlin Callaghan and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Cullen led the Blue Demon defense with 11 digs apiece, while Stephanie Augustavo delivered 18 digs for USF. Freshman setter Christy Landschoot fed the DePaul offense throughout the day with a match-high 45 assists.
The Blue Demons were unable to score more than two consecutive points in game one as they hit just .024 and finished the frame with 13 attack errors. The Bulls scored the first three points of the game and never looked back on their way to a 30-16 victory. Gurgel led the USF offense with five kills, while setter Mariana Thon dished out seven assists.
DePaul played its best volleyball of the day in game two; registering a .232 attack percentage on 21 kills, while defensively notching 18 digs. The game was a back-and-forth battle punctuated by 17 tie scores and seven lead changes. The Blue Demons took a 30-29 lead as Landschoot knocked down a kill, but USF bounced back with a kill from Fabris. The two teams exchanged points until a pair of DePaul attack errors gave the Bulls a 35-33 win.
Game three saw the Blue Demons build a 9-7 advantage before USF reeled off three unanswered points to take a 10-9 lead. The advantage was exchanged two more times before the Bulls pulled ahead for good at 15-14. DePaul never trailed by more than five points, but USF held on down the stretch for a 30-26 victory.
The Blue Demons return to the court on Sunday as they welcome BIG EAST rival Georgetown to McGrath Arena for a 2 p.m. (CST) match.