Women's Volleyball


Pioneers Sweep Tigers to Open Season

Aug. 25, 2017


CHARLESTON, S.C.—  The University of Denver women’s volleyball 2017 campaign got underway with a statement win against Tennessee State at the Hampton Inn and Suites Classic. The Pioneers (1-0) swept the Tigers (0-1) by scores of 25-17, 25-22, and 25-10 in a quick hour and 19 minute match.  

“We are excited to begin our season with a win in Charleston,” said second-year head coach Tom Hogan.  “We were able to get our first match nerves out of the way while giving every player on our team an opportunity to grow.

“Our team’s greatest strength, our team chemistry, allowed us to control the match, and we improved in every set by focusing on the process.  We look forward to tomorrow as we strive to continually grow with every opportunity.”

Kayla Principato had 10 kills, Piyusha Boteju recorded 17 assists, Emma Willis had three total blocks (one solo, two assisted), and Cassidy Rooke had eight digs to lead DU. Rooke added two service aces, which tied for a team-high with Andrea Eddy and Ellie Anderson. Freshmen Lydia Bartalo contributed seven digs and Anderson had eight assists in their first match as a Pioneer.



Overall, Denver had a hitting percentage of .304, whereas Tennessee State was held to just .066.  The Pioneers outscored the Tigers in kills (34-30), service aces (6-0) and total blocks (4-0) en route to the victory.

Set One: Willis scored the first point of the 2017 volleyball season for the Pioneers with a kill off of an assist from Boteju. The Tigers went ahead early on in the set 9-6 before DU rattled off four-straight points to take a 10-9 lead. Tennessee State tied it at 10-10, which the last time the set would be close.  Denver went on to win the next three points, causing Tennessee State to call a timeout at 13-10.  After the break, DU went on a 12-7 run to close out the set.  Cassie Baird led the Pioneers in the set with four kills, while Principato added three.  Rooke had one service ace and six digs to lead DU in both categories, and Boteju and Anderson had five and four assists, respectively. The Pioneers hit .273 in the first set.

Set Two: Set two proved to be much closer as the Pioneers weren’t able to create much separation early on from the Tigers.  After Tennessee State scored three points in a row, evening the score at 15, Denver called a timeout, which seemed to do the trick. Out of the timeout, DU went on a 7-3 run, leading to a Tennessee State timeout at 22-18. The Tigers would win the next two points, before the teams would alternate points, eventually leading to DU taking the set 25-22. The Pioneers hit .212 in the set, recording nine kills, and had three service aces- one coming from Rooke and two at the hand of Eddy.  Becca Latham had four of her six kills in the second set, while Principato added two more kills of her own.  Boteju was credited with five more assists in the second set, with Eddy adding the other four assists tallied in the set. Olivia Novotny led the Pioneers in the set with five digs.

Set Three: Last season, the Pioneers went 18-0 after winning the first two sets, and it was a trend that would carry over to the first match of 2017.  The set was never really in doubt as the Crimson and Gold jumped out to a 7-2 lead, with four of those points coming off of kills by Principato. Tennessee State tried to cool off the Pioneers with a timeout, but DU wouldn’t allow that to happen. Tennessee State would take the first point out of the timeout, but Denver went on a 13-0 run to take a 20-3 advantage. The Tigers would battle back to make it 23-10, however that would be it as Denver would take the next two points to close out the set and the match. The first point and the last point of the match were fittingly much of the same, a Willis kill off of a Boteju assist.  The Pioneers hit .462 in the set, with Principato leading the way with five kills. Boteju finished the match with seven assists in the third set, with Anderson adding four to her total. Macy Carrabine got in the stat sheet with four digs in the set.

With the win, the Pioneers are 5-1 in season openers in the past six years in which Hogan has been with the program.

Up Next:  The Pioneers return to the TD Arena tomorrow for a doubleheader.  They square off against USC Upstate at 8:30 a.m. MT, before closing out the tournament with host College of Charleston at 5 p.m.

The home opener for the Pioneers is Friday, Sept. 1, when they host the Pioneer Classic. Their first home match is scheduled against UC Davis at 6 p.m. MT.

SEASON TICKETS: Season tickets for the 2017 Denver volleyball season are on sale now and can be PURCHASED HERE. Tickets for Denver’s 13 home matches can be purchased for only $48. 


Fans interested in making a donation to the volleyball program can do so by CLICKING HERE. Your contribution will make a direct impact on the success of YOUR Pioneers. Thank you in advance for your unwavering support of our student-athletes and their quest for excellence.



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