Volleyball Drops a Heartbreaker Against Syracuse
CHICAGO The DePaul volleyball team finished off the Halloween weekend with a hard fought 3-2 (25-23, 23-25, 25-11, 20-25, 15-7) BIG EAST Conference loss to Syracuse, Sunday at McGrath Arena. The Blue Demons fall to 4-20 and 2-9 in league action, while the Orange improve to 15-12 and 6-4 in conference play.
Both teams got off to a slow start, as they registered a combined 17 kills in the first frame. Kyndell Highland led the Blue Demons in the first set with five kills, while Kate Letcher and Caitlin Callaghan had four digs apiece. Syracuse took advantage of DePaul’s 13 attack errors to put the stanza away 25-19.
The Blue Demons rallied back in the second set and posted a .237 attack percentage on 17 kills. The hard fought and back-and-forth set saw 10 tie scores and seven lead changes. With the score tied at 22, setter Christy Landschoot found middle blocker Jacie Fiedler for the kill. DePaul never looked back and won the stanza 25-23 behind kills from Sarah Cullen and Highland.
Tied at one set apiece, the Orange refocused and commanded the third set. The Blue Demons continued to struggle with attack errors, while Syracuse posted a .375 attack percentage. Fiedler led DePaul’s offense with four kills, while Cullen led the defense with three digs. Kacie MacTavish, who entered the match in the third set, made her presence know with four kills, two digs, and a block to help win the third set 25-11.
DePaul showed its mental toughness in the fourth set by tallying 14 kills. Cullen led the pack with seven kills, while Highland tacked on a team-high five digs. The Blue Demons jumped to a 20-16 lead by the dominance at the net by Cullen and Letcher. Cullen put up the 25th point with a kill to tie the match at two sets apiece.
The fifth and final set was all Syracuse, who led the entire way. Shanetha McLaurin’s strong service helped the Orange lead to 7-2 lead. Despite posting six kills to Syracuse’s four, the Blue Demons could not find their rhythm, and bowed out 15-7.
Highland led DePaul with a career-high 16 kills, while Cullen registered her 16th double-double with 15 kills and a team-high 17 digs. Callaghan also chipped in 17 digs. Landschoot led the offense with 49 assists, while Letcher added two aces.
Syracuse’s Sarah Morton paced the Orange offence with 12 kills and Noemie Lefebvre added 22 digs.
The Blue Demons return to action on Tuesday, when they host Valparaiso in a non-conference match up. The first serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at McGrath Arena.