Sept. 7, 2017
AUSTIN, Texas— The University of Denver women’s volleyball team pushed No. 5 Texas several times throughout the match held at Gregory Gymnasium Thursday evening, but the Pioneers ultimately fell to the Longhorns in straight sets (19-25, 23-25, 17-25). Texas moved to 6-1 with the win, while Denver is now 6-2.
Kayla Principato led the Pioneers with nine kills, with Becca Latham having seven and Emma Willis with six. Willis had three total blocks, all assisted, to pace DU. Cassidy Rooke had two service aces and 13 digs in the match to lead the Pioneers in both categories. Piyusha Boteju had an ace of her own to go along with her team-high 15 assists. Ellie Anderson contributed 13 assists in the match.
As a team, Denver hit .155 with 34 kills, had 33 assists, 43 digs, five service aces and four and a half total team blocks.
Set One: Two early service aces by Cassie Baird and Willis, and two kills by Teal Schnurr kept the Pioneers in the set. DU had a 6-5 lead before Texas went on a 5-1 run, leading to a timeout by Denver. Texas grew the lead to 17-12, forcing another DU timeout. The Pioneers got as close as 22-18, prompting a timeout by the Longhorns. Out of the timeout, the Pioneers had two service errors followed by a kill by Texas to give Texas the 25-19 win. There were four ties and two lead changes in the set. Principato led the team with three kills. Baird recorded two kills in the set to register the 500th kill of her career. She finished the match with five total kills. In addition to the service aces by Baird and Willis, both led the Pioneers in total blocks, teaming up on two blocks. DU had a match-high 12 kills in the opening set.
Set Two: Denver showed its resiliency, going on a 10-3 run to go from down 18-11 to tying the set at 21. There were two more ties at 22 and 23 before Texas closed out the set with the final two points. Principato and Willis each had four kills to lead the Pioneers in the set, with Willis a perfect 4-0-4 in the set. Schnurr, Latham and Baird had the remaining three kills for the Pioneers, who hit .162 as a team. Boteju added six assists to her evening’s total, while Rooke had five digs, and both provided the two Pioneer service aces of the set. Principato and Willis combined for the only block of the set for DU. There were four ties and one lead change in this set.
Set Three: Denver kept within two points early on in the set, with a kill by Principato making it 10-8 Texas. However, from that point the Longhorns went on a 9-5 run, prompting a second Denver timeout after calling one at 17-13. Baird recorded a kill out of the timeout, but a 3-0 run by Texas to make it 22-14 followed by an exchange of 3-0 runs by each team put the set and the match away at 25-17. Although Denver was able to tie Texas four times in the set, the Pioneers weren’t able to get a lead. Latham had four kills in the set and Boteju and Anderson each had four assists in the frame to lead the team. Tina Boe, Schnurr and Principato teamed up to create the only block of the set for DU. Rooke provided another ace, her fifth of the season, the only one for the Crimson and Gold in the final set. Denver hit a match-high .194 in the set off of 11 kills.
UP NEXT: The Pioneers close out the American Campus Classic against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday at 4 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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