DePaul Wraps Up Season with St. John's, Rutgers
Nov. 8, 2012
*denotes record as of November 8DePaul Notes
CHICAGO - The Blue Demons will close out a three-match road swing at St. John's on Friday at 6:00 p.m. before returning home for their season finale against Rutgers at 1:00 p.m in McGrath-Phillips Arena.
On Sunday, DePaul will be celebrating Senior Day by honoring middle blocker Rachel Aumann for her contributions to the program.
Now 8-18 overall (3-10 BIG EAST), DePaul has won its most matches since the 2004 season when the team went 12-19. The squad's three BIG EAST wins are also just one off the program mark of four, set during the 2008 season. Additionally, the Blue Demons have claimed 40 sets in 2012 - easily eclipsing last year's total of 29.
Over the past three weekends the Blue Demons have accumulated a pair of four-set wins over South Florida and Villanova and are 2-4 in their past six BIG EAST contests.
Last Time Out
Senior Rachel Aumann led the Blue Demons with eight kills while junior Natalie Rizzo added six terminations at a .333 clip. Freshman Aubree Hord led the team in two categories, posting 15 assists and eight digs. DePaul out-blocked Seton Hall, 7-3.
Scouting the Red Storm
St. John's has split their past four since weathering a five match losing streak after beating DePaul. Particularly strong at home (9-4), the Red Storm's top three offensive options all have 295+ kills for the season. Karin Palgutova leads the team with 339 kills on a .280 attacking percentage, while Aleksandra Wachowicz (318 kills) and Milica Krstojevic (295 kills) have also aided offense.
Sabina Piegza directs the offense and has 2,181 assists while Gabriela Petkova's 404 digs pace the defense.
St. John's leads the all-time series 7-2.
Scouting the Scarlet Knights
Freshman Sarah Schmid ranks fourth in the conference with a .360 attack percentage. Setter Stephanie Zielinski is one of the best distributors in the BIG EAST, ranking second in the league with 1,234 assists (11.12 per set).
Rutgers leads the all-time series 5-4.
Sophomore setter Laura Witt has also recorded six assist-dig double-doubles since Sept. 14. Freshman Aubree Hord picked up her first career double-double (14 assists, 11 digs) at No. 10 Louisville on Friday, Sept. 21 and added another on Saturday, Oct. 6 versus St. John's (13 assists, 10 digs).
In the Demons' 26 matches, DePaul has gathered 20 double-doubles total and has at least one in 18 competitions -- including 11 of its past 15.
By comparison, in 2011, the Blue Demons recorded six double-doubles all season. Senior Lauren Blasi led the Blue Demons with two kill-dig double-doubles (Katie Gamsky had four assist-dig double-doubles).
At the two-day tourney, Zapryanova led the Blue Demons to a pair of sweeps and paced the offense with 3.70 kills per set. It was the first BIG EAST weekly award for DePaul volleyball since Sarah Cullen was selected to the honor roll on October 13, 2008.
She leads the team in kills (314), kills per set (3.14) and total attempts (929). The Sofia, Bulgaria-native also leads in aces (26) and is second in digs (248).
Zapryanova was named to All-Tournament teams over three straight weekends from Aug. 31-Sept. 15 (First State Skyhawk Invitational, Chicago Classic, Loyola Rambler Challenge).
Rise of Rizzo
The junior middle leads the team with a .311 hitting percentage (170 kills, 49 errors, 389 attempts). The last DePaul offensive player to finish a season over .300 with at least 100 attempts was Jacie Fiedler in 2008 (.356).
The Lombard, Ill.-native is also tied for second on the team with 25 ace serves.