Pioneers Sweep Panthers for Best Start in Program History

Sept. 2, 2017

  VOLL v E. Illinois (2 SEP 17) - Highlights

BOX SCORE

DENVER—  The University of Denver women’s volleyball team made history on Saturday, starting a program-best 6-0, after a 3-0 victory (25-21, 25-22, 25-17) over Eastern Illinois (3-3) to close out the Pioneer Classic.

Becca Latham led the Pioneers with 11 kills and Piyusha Boteju had another double-double, the second of the day for the senior, with 18 assists and 12 digs to lead the team.  Latham was named MVP of the tournament behind 34 kills and 10 total blocks on the weekend, with Boteju and Tina Boe making the All-Tournament Team. Emma Willis had 10 total blocks and Teal Schnurr had a season-high two service aces to pace Denver. 

As a team, DU hit .283, had 44 kills, 40 assists, 41 digs, three service aces and 22 assisted blocks in the match.  Denver held EIU to a season-low .160 hitting percentage and 36 kills.

"We grew as a team this weekend by focusing on the process,"  said head coach Tom Hogan. "When we hit some bumps, we embraced it, knowing that the most growth occurs outside of our comfort zone.

"Our team's depth is a major reason for our early success and we embrace every competitive opportunity together.  We continue to test different lineups, challenging our team to adapt to any situation.  Our ability to play multiple players at different positions allows us to be flexible and adapt to our opponents."

Set One: DU scored the first two points of the match off of a kill by Kayla Principato and an attack error by the Panthers.   Between 17-16 DU and 22-21 DU, the Panthers and Pioneers exchanged point-for-point before Denver had three-straight points to take the set 25-21. Denver hit .316 in the set, with 16 kills, and four assisted blocks (Willis/ Principato and Latham/Boe). Cassie Baird, Principato, Willis and Latham each had three kills, while Boe and Schnurr had two each.  Boteju led the team in assists (seven) and digs (five), and Schnurr had the lone service ace for DU.

 

Set Two: DU scored the first three-points of the set, but both teams struggled to put the ball in play early with five service errors in a row between the two teams.   Neither team was able to get in a rhythm throughout the set or pull away, as there were stretches of points in which the Panthers and Pioneers exchanged points. Baird had back-to-back kills late in the set to put Denver up 23-21, forcing a timeout by EIU.  The Panthers would take the first point out of the timeout, but a service error and attack error by the Panthers sealed the set for the Pioneers at 25-22.  There were six total blocks in the set, with Willis assisting on every one of them.  She paired with Principato and Latham on two points each, Lydia Bartalo on one and Schnurr on the other.  The Pioneers hit .250 with 16 kills, led by Latham’s four. Boteju added seven assists in the frame, and Macy Carrabine led Denver with six digs. 

 

Set Three: Like the first set, DU started off with the first two points of the set, this time with a kill by Latham and a service ace by Baird.  Denver used two 3-0 runs to create separation from EIU, going on a 3-0 run in the middle of the set to go from 12-8 to 14-8, and used another 3-0 run late in the set to push the lead from 16-12 to 18-12.  The lead grew to 20-13 before the Panthers called a final timeout, but it wasn’t enough as they never got closer than six points.  DU closed out the set, and the match, fittingly on a Latham kill, to win the set 25-17. The Pioneers hit .281 in the set behind 12 kills.  Latham once again led the Pioneers with four kills in the set, with Baird adding three, Willis two and Principato, Schnurr and Boe each having one.  Ellie Anderson had six of her 15 total assists in the set, and Willis once again was a force at the net with three assisted blocks, teaming up with Baird, Schnurr and Latham.  Schnurr and Baird each produced a service ace in the set, and Boteju and Rooke each had three digs.

 

UP NEXT:  The Pioneers head to Austin, Texas, for the American Campus Classic for matches against presently ranked No. 2 Minnesota  and No. 4 Texas on Thursday and Texas A&M- Corpus Christi on Friday.

"We look forward to the challenge next weekend presents, and I'm sure the players are excited to get back into the gym to prepare for an exciting trip to Austin," said Hogan.

They will be back home Sept. 15 and 16 for the Denver Invitational. 

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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2017 Pioneer Classic All-Tournament Team

MVP – Becca Latham, University of Denver

Tina Boe, University of Denver

Piyusha Boteju, University of Denver

Rylee Hunt, Niagara

Nicole Matheis, Niagara

Taylor Smith, Eastern Illinois

Emily Allen, UC Davis