Sept. 1, 2017
DENVER— The University of Denver women’s volleyball team opened up its home schedule with a 3-0 victory against UC Davis (3-1) at Hamilton Gymnasium on Friday night. The Pioneers move to 4-0 for the season as a result of tonight’s 25-15, 25-23 and 26-24 win. It is the seventh-straight year that DU has won its home opener.
"It was great to get a win for our first home match of the 2017 season," said head coach Tom Hogan. "Hamilton Gymnasium looked amazing with all of the new upgrades, and a win against a top-50 team was a fantastic way to break in the new court.
"We played a tough team in UC Davis, and although we didn't play our best game, our players were able to stay poised in the end of sets and pull out wins. Tomorrow, we'll have to focus on improving and growing our offense connections and first contacts."
Cassie Baird had a double-double for the second-straight match, recording 11 digs and 10 kills, in a well-rounded performance. Baird led DU in digs, and tied Kayla Principato and Becca Latham at 10 kills each to lead the Pioneers. Piyusha Boteju and Ellie Anderson paced DU with 19 and 16 assists on the night, respectively. Tina Boe continued to be a force at the net, adding six blocks, all assisted. Principato registered five assisted blocks of her own to round out her night. Denver hit .282 in the match, with 44 kills, 42 assists, 43 digs, eight team blocks, and two service aces.
Set One: The Pioneers recorded the first two points of the match with kills from Emma Willis and Principato on its way to hitting .536 and 17 kills as a team. After a kill by UC Davis to make it 17-15, DU closed out the set on an 8-0 run to take the set 25-15, thanks to kills by Willis, Principato, Latham and Baird. Teal Schnurr and Baird had four kills apiece to pace DU. Baird also led the team in digs with four. Boteju had eight assists and Anderson had seven in the opening frame. Up at the net, Boe had three block assists, teaming up with Latham, Baird and Principato.
Set Two: DU cooled down to hit .150, but it was enough to edge the Aggies 25-23. After DU took the lead 21-19, UC Davis scored three-straight points to put them ahead 22-21, forcing a timeout by Denver. Out of the timeout, two service errors and two attack errors by the Aggies gave the Pioneers the set. Latham and Principato each had three kills, with Anderson and Boteju adding five assists each. Principato led the Pioneers with three assisted blocks in the set, with Boe assisting on two and Willis on the other. Cassidy Rooke had four of her nine digs in the set. Baird added a service ace to her stat column, the lone ace of the set for either team.
Set Three: Principato and Baird continued to be hot in the third set, adding five and four kills, respectively. Latham also contributed four of her 10 kills in the frame. UC Davis pulled ahead early in the set, 10-7, leading to a DU timeout. From there, Denver went on a 4-0 run thanks to three kills by Baird and a kill by Principato. After an exchange of 3-0 runs late in a set that saw 11 ties and four lead changes, it was the Pioneers who found a way to take the set. UC Davis led 22-19 late, but from there it was all DU, who went on a 7-2 run to close out the match. Principato again recorded an assisted block with Boe, their fourth pairing of the match, proving to be a dynamic duo so far this season. Schnurr added a service ace in the set, the first for her as a Pioneer. Baird closed out the match recording six digs to lead Denver, while Boteju led with six assists. Rooke had five of her seven assists in the third set, and Anderson had four. As a team, the Pioneers hit .238 in the set off of 15 kills.
UP NEXT: The Pioneers will resume play in the Pioneer Classic with a doubleheader tomorrow. At 11:30 a.m. (MT), DU will face Niagara, who defeated Eastern Illinois in the first match of the day 3-0. At 6 p.m., DU will close out the Pioneer Classic against Eastern Illinois.
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.
- JOIN THE DENVER PIONEER NATION --
Visit DenverPioneers.com for complete coverage of all 17 of Denver's NCAA Division I sports.
Like Denver Pioneers and DU Volleyball on Facebook
Follow @DU_Pioneers and @DU_Volleyball on Twitter