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DU Defeats UC Riverside in Straight Sets

Sept. 16, 2017

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DENVER—
 In a battle of 8-2 teams, the University of Denver women’s volleyball team defeated the UC Riverside Highlanders in straight sets (25-20, 25-16, 25-12) to open day two of the Denver Invitational. 

Becca Latham hit .750 to lead the team with nine kills, while Cassie Baird and Emma Willis each had eight.  Baird led the team with 13 digs and Ellie Anderson had 19 assists to pace Denver.  Willis tied a career-high with three service aces and also tallied seven total blocks to lead Denver in both categories.

As a team, the Pioneers .381 with 43 kills, 40 assists, 54 digs, 10 total team blocks and eight service aces.

Set One: Three early kills by Tina Boe kept the Pioneers on pace with the Highlanders in the set. A kill by Willis followed by a service ace by Willis would give DU the 11-10 lead. A 3-0 run would later put the Pioneers ahead 16-13, and it would be a lead they would hold onto for the remainder of the set. UC Riverside would take the next point to get within two points, but that was as close as they would get to the Pioneers as DU held a five point cushion for much of the later stages of the match.  DU had a balanced attack in the set. Willis had 4 kills in the set to lead the Pioneers. Boe, Kayla Principato, Latham and Baird all had 3. Anderson started off the match with nine assists, and Piyusha Boteju added seven for DU.  Boe/ Latham, Willis/ Baird, and Willis/ Latham combined for blocks in the opening set. Willis and Teal Schnurr added service aces to help Denver get the 1-0 set lead. The Pioneers hit .415 with 18 kills, 18 assists, three total team blocks and two service aces. There were a total of 10 ties and two lead changes in the frame.  Denver is now 7-0 when winning the first set. 

Set Two: There was only one tie at one and one lead change as Denver controlled the set. After UC Riverside scored the first point of the set, DU went on a 5-0 run to make it 5-1, leading to a Highlanders timeout. Out of the timeout, DU scored the next four points to pull ahead 9-1 before UC Riverside stopped the 9-0 run with a kill.  DU added a 4-0 run in the middle of the set to go up 16-7.  The score would reach 18-8 before UC Riverside put together a 4-0 run to make it 18-12, but Denver used a 7-4 run, including scoring the last three points of the set, to take a 25-16 win and a 2-0 advantage in the match. The Pioneers hit .351 in the set off of 14 kills. Baird, Becca Mau and Latham each had three kills in the set to lead the Crimson and Gold, with Baird adding two service aces and Mau adding one. Anderson contributed four assists, and Willis paired up with Baird, Principato and Schnurr for assisted blocks.

Set Three: Much like the second set, Denver controlled the set from the on set and never relinquished the lead. Willis opened up the set with a kill.  UC Riverside tied the set at 1, but DU used a 5-0 run to pull ahead 6-1, forcing the Highlanders to call another early timeout.  Schnurr scored the next point out of the timeout to extend the lead to 7-1 before UC Riverside stopped the run.  UC Riverside made it 10-4, but the Pioneers used a 9-0 run to put the set out of reach at 19-4. The Highlanders strung together three-straight points to make it 21-9 DU, but they would not get closer than 12 points.  A Latham kill concluded the match at 25-12. Denver closed the match hitting .370 in the third frame, off of 11 kills.  Willis and Latham each had three kills to lead the Pioneers in the frame, with Anderson adding six assists. Willis had two service aces in the set to give her a total of eight on the season, and Olivia Novotny recorded an ace as well.  Denver had four total team blocks, all assisted (Boe/ Principato, Principato/ Schnurr, Willis/ Baird, Willis/Latham).


 

 


UP NEXT:  Denver closes out the Denver Invitational against San Diego State at 7 p.m.  The Aztecs (5-7) went five sets in the first match of the day against Gonzaga (4-7), winning 3-2.

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