Sept. 8, 2017
AUSTIN, Texas— The University of Denver women’s volleyball team closed out the American Campus Classic with a hard-fought and thrilling 3-1 victory over Texas A&M- Corpus Christi (18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 28-26). The Pioneers move to 7-2 on the season with the win, while the Islanders drop to 3-7.
Becca Latham had a career-high 16 kills in the match to lead the Crimson and Gold, while Teal Schnurr and Lydia Bartalo recorded eight each in the winning effort. Tina Boe had a career-high six kills in the match. Schnurr also had a season-high four service aces to lead the team, with a total of six Denver players having at least one service ace. Emma Willis and Bartalo each had two, a career-high for Bartalo. Andrea Eddy, Cassidy Rooke and Ellie Anderson had one. Anderson had a career-high 22 assists to lead the Pioneers, with Piyusha Boteju adding another double-double to the season with 20 assists and 11 digs. Anderson recorded her first double-double as a Pioneer with a career-high 10 digs to go along with her assists. Macy Carrabine had a team-high 16 digs to pace the Pioneers. When it came to blocking, Willis led DU with three total blocks, with Cassie Baird, Boe and Kayla Principato with two assisted blocks each.
Overall, Denver hit .185 with 56 kills, 52 assists, 65 digs, a season-high 11 service aces and six total team blocks.
"It is great when you can struggle, learn and grow, and still be able to pull out a win," said head coach Tom Hogan. "Tonight's match against a very good NCAA tournament team (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) taught us a lot. We learned that we need to be consistent throughout each play, on every rep of every skill.
"We also discovered that if players struggle, we have the ability to put in multiple players and different lineups and still win."
Set One: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi got out to a fast 4-0 start, but two kills by Schnurr and a service ace by Willis got the scoring going for the Pioneers to tighten the set. DU had a lead early on at 7-6, but it wouldn’t last long as the Islanders regained control. Denver fought back to tie the set at 15, but they were never able to get the lead. The Pioneers got as close as 17-16 on a kill by Principato, but the Islanders would go on an 8-2 run to win the set 25-18. Schnurr would end the set with three kills, tied with Latham. Denver had 12 kills in the set, hitting .241. Rooke added an ace in the set, her sixth of the season.
Set Two: Schnurr continued her hot start with an early kill in the set and back-to-back service aces. The set came down to a series of runs for DU as a pair of 3-0 runs in the middle of the set gave DU a 14-12 and 17-14 lead, and a 5-0 run late in the set that made it 23-17, helping the Pioneers even the match at one. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi went on a 5-0 run of its own late to try to steal the set, but a bad set by the Islanders and a kill by Boe secured the set for the Pioneers at 25-22. Bartalo led DU in the set with four kills, while Boteju had six assists and four digs to lead the team. Principato and Willis assisted on a block in the set, the first block of the match for the Pioneers. Willis and Bartalo had a service ace each in the set to go along with Schnurr’s two. DU hit .128 in the set with 13 kills. There were 10 ties and two lead changes in the set.
Set Three: After the Pioneers fought back to tie the set at 13, one of seven ties overall in the frame, the Islanders went on a 7-4 run to take a 20-17 lead, forcing a Denver timeout. The Islanders took the next two points out of the timeout, putting the Pioneers behind 22-17, and on the verge of being down 2-1 in the match. After another DU timeout, Denver rallied behind back-to-back kills from Boe, three kills from Latham, two errors by the Islanders, and a service ace by Schnurr to take the set 25-23. DU closed the set on an 8-1 run to go up 2-1 in the match. Denver hit .174 with 16 kills, led by Latham who had five. Schnurr ended up with two service aces in the set, the only aces recorded in the frame by the Pioneers. Carrabine led with eight digs in the set, and Anderson and Boteju each had six assists for the Pioneers. Bartalo had a solo block in the set, the only block recorded by DU in the frame.
Set Four: The final set of the match proved to be another gritty performance by the Pioneers. Denver built an early 10-5 lead, and would carry that lead to the middle of the set at 16-12. However, the Islanders went on a 5-0 run to take a 17-16 lead, and would push the lead to 20-17 before Denver called a timeout. The lead would fluctuate between two and three points, reaching 23-21 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, before Denver went on a 2-0 run tie the set at 23. From there, it was an exchange of points, with ties at 24, 25 and 26 before a service error by the Islanders and a kill by Bartalo gave the Pioneers the set at 28-26 and the match at 3-1. There were a total of seven ties and three lead changes in the final set. Denver closed out the match hitting .208, behind 15 kills. Latham once again led the Pioneers in kills with six. Bartalo paced the team with seven digs in the set, and contributed one service ace. Eddy and Anderson also had one service ace. Anderson closed out the match with seven assists in the set to lead DU. Denver had eight assisted blocks, with Boe/Principato, Willis/Latham, Boe/Baird, and Willis/Baird combining for the blocks.
"This was a fantastic weekend for our program," said Hogan. "We competed against the top teams in the country, learned a lot, and grew from the experience.
"We have what it takes to compete against teams at this level, but need greater consistency at everything we do. We look forward to continuing our growth as we move into the last week of non-conference play."
American Campus Classic
MVP: Stephanie Samedy, Minnesota
Lexi Sun, Texas
Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Minnesota
Cat McCoy, Texas
Brittany Gilpin, Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Becca Latham, Denver
Alexis Hart, Minnesota
UP NEXT: The Pioneers return back to Hamilton Gymnasium to host the Denver Invitational Sept. 15 and 16. DU will open up the tournament on Friday at 6 p.m. MT against Gonzaga, with a doubleheader against UC Riverside (12:30 p.m.) and San Diego State (7 p.m.) on Saturday. The match against San Diego State is the Alumnae game, celebrating the history of DU volleyball. Friday’s match against Gonzaga, as well as the San Diego State match, will be televised on Altitude and Altitude 2, respectively.
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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