DePaul volleyball drops four-setter to St. John’s

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Thanks to an untimely lapse in communication, the DePaul women’s volleyball fell apart in a four set loss (25-23, 23-25, 20-25, 15-25) to St. John’s Saturday at McGrath-Phillips Arena.

After winning the first set, the Blue Demons fell behind by 23-18 in the second set, but put together a comeback to close within a point. After a St. John’s serve, a rally ensued, and DePaul had a chance to dig the ball and win a point. Unfortunately, three players converged on the ball and no one tried to dig, resulting in the ball hitting the court and giving the Red Storm a set victory.

DePaul never recovered. They lost the next two sets, including an uninspiring fourth set in which the Blue Demons trailed by 10 points on several occasions.

Freshman Abbie Fleener was disappointed in the team’s overall effort and the lack of execution.

“I think when we’re on a run, it’s important to keep on pushing. I think those stupid mistakes are what lost us the game,” said Fleener.

The loss was DePaul’s sixth in seven matches and dropped the Blue Demons to 6-12, including a 1-4 mark in the Big East. 

After the victory, St. John’s improved to 17-3 overall. The quality of the Red Storm play was a factor in the loss, but Fleener believed the Blue Demons still should have come out on top.

“I think, honestly, that we should have come out a lot stronger,” said Fleener. “I don’t think we showed the kind of team that we are and I don’t think we came out the way we should have today.”

As the match wore on, it became apparent DePaul was having trouble adjusting to the St. John’s game plan. The Blue Demons played with energy, but St. John’s seemed to be too much.

“We started the match very well, very focused, and I think that throughout the game our level focus and our inability to adjust put us in a position where it was tough to be successful,” said head coach Nadia Edwards.

The lack of success came to a head in the fourth and final set, when DePaul started out sluggish and never recovered. St. John’s led throughout the set and the Blue Demons were visibly frustrated. The Red Storm easily took the set 25-15.

“I know I’m disappointed, my coaches are disappointed, and my teammates are disappointed, but I think we’re just going to back stronger,” said Fleener. “Hopefully we can take something from this match because it was a tough loss.”

Despite the loss, DePaul is one win away from equaling their 2011 total of seven. They match up against St. John’s again in New York Nov. 9, a week before the start of the Big East Championship.