CHICAGO – The DePaul Women’s Volleyball Program returns home to the McGrath-Phillips Arena on Friday and Saturday for a pair of BIG EAST contests as DePaul University celebrates Alumni and Family Weekend.
The Blue Demons welcome the Pirates from Seton Hall to Lincoln Park on Friday October 15 with a first service scheduled for 7 p.m. A day later, DePaul is scheduled to meet the St. John’s Red Storm at 6 pm.
Demon Actions: DePaul is coming off a 1-1 weekend that saw the Blue Demons drop to No.19 Creighton before taking a hit on Providence. After three weeks of conference action, DePaul is 3-3 and sits in the middle of the field alongside St. John’s and Butler. The Blue Demons are 10-8 overall.
Second year outside hitter Jill pressly leads the attack for DePaul with 4.00 kills per set in the BIG EAST game which ranks third in the league. Graduate student Emma Award brings firepower to the right side with 2.32 kills per set. Donna Brown has been extremely effective on both sides of the net with an attacking efficiency of .313 to go with 55 blocks over the season. Libero Rachel Krasowski leads the team with 5.23 digs per set, which ranks third in the BIG EAST and 17th nationally.
The Blue Demons generate a ton of opportunities to kill, ranking fifth in Division I for attacks per set at 39.31. DePaul is just 1-4 in games at McGrath-Phillips Arena during the 2021 fall season and will look to improve with two opportunities on Friday and Saturday.
SÃ©ton room – The Pirates enter BIG EAST’s fourth weekend with a 2-4 record in conference action and a 10-10 overall rating. Last weekend, Seton Hall fell to Xavier in five sets before sweeping Butler for the weekend division. The Pirates have four forwards averaging two or more kills per set, led by sophomore outside hitter Peri Lucas on the outside with 2.77 kills per set. Libero Anna Holland leads the Pirates defense with 4.28 digs per set. Seton Hall is led by Allison Yaeger in her 10eseason as head coach.
St. John’s – The Red Storm comes into action on the weekend with an overall record of 12-8 and a score of 3-3 in the league. St. John’s handed over then-No. 16 Creighton’s only conference loss of the season on Friday, Oct. 1 with a 3-1 win. Last weekend Butler swept the Red Storm out before St. John’s responded with a 3-1 win over Xavier. Senior right wing Rachele Rastelli led the way for SJU averaging 4.30 kills per set to lead BIG EAST. Away freshman Giorgia Walther assisted the attack with 2.62 kills per set. Libero Sheena Yoshioka has totaled 200 digs so far in the 2021 campaign. St. John’s head coach Joanne Persico is in his 28th season leading the program in Queens.
Stuff from the series: Seton Hall holds the all-time lead over DePaul 19-3. The Blue Demons are back-to-back series victories after securing wins in both matches in 2019. The Red Storms have an 18-6 advantage over the Blue Demons and have won the last five meetings. DePaul’s last win in the series came on September 22, 2017, in a five-set thriller at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
From the head coach Marie zidek: “What a great weekend we have in store starting a small mini-season with big post-season implications. As we reminded the team in August, October is month 3 of the season, which for most players gets long and the energy gets a bit harder to come by due to the temperature rise in school, so you want to be able to play meaningful matches that allow you to keep motivation high so you can continue to achieve higher speeds in your game. This weekend is the definition of meaningful matches. We’re seated at 3-3 to chase groups 4-2 and possibly 5-1. Two wins this weekend put us in the lead at 5-3 and in the driver’s seat to chase this leading group. There are no easy matches in the BIG EAST game. Seton Hall comes home with a 3-0 win over Butler. They are led by Chicago native Perri Lucas, a graduate of Whitney Young, who will no doubt want to make her Chicago debut one to remember. We’ll have to dig in to make an exceptionally good transition and serve strong to keep his attacking possibilities to a minimum. On Saturday we’ll face St. John’s, led by head coach Jojo Persico, 28, who has one of the hottest weapons in the conference, Rachele Rastelli. St. John’s just wrapped up a weekend where they were able to attack Creighton for their only conference loss, and they were able to do so with a new lineup. The St. John’s roster is riddled with injury, so we’ll have to remain very adaptable to their new players. It will be a battle to see how much we can slow down Rastelli and make an attack transition right away. This group needs to learn to play loose and excitable at home like we do on the road, so this weekend brings two perfect opportunities with the first sniff of post-season implications written all over the place. “
Following: DePaul will head to the back half of the BIG EAST game with a trip to Marquette on Wednesday, October 20 for a game at 12 p.m. Following the game against the Golden Eagles, the Blue Demons will travel to Storrs, Connecticut for a meeting with Connecticut on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m.