Denver Wins Fourth Consecutive Summit League Title with Victory
The Pioneers claim the title outright with a 12-2 league record
Nov. 12, 2017
Three Pioneers had double-digit kills, with Becca Latham leading the charge with 16. Cassie Baird had 12 and Kayla Principato had 10 in the victory. Ellie Anderson (27 assists, 10 digs) and Piyusha Boteju (26 assists, 11 digs) each had a double-double, the second of the weekend for the pair. On the season, Boteju has 10 double-doubles, while Anderson has five. Cassidy Rooke had 20 digs, Macy Carrabine had two service aces, and Tina Boe had six assisted blocks to lead the Crimson and Gold.
As a team, Denver hit .253 with 64 kills, 62 assists, 71 digs, five service aces and 11 total blocks.
"Our team is ecstatic, but exhausted. We look forward to going back to Denver, and centering our focus on next weekend's league tournament. We look forward to our league tournament and know that our best match is still out there.
"This season's title feels very rewarding, especially because of the level of our league," Hogan continued. "We were challenged each week, and we grew from these experiences.
"The depth on our team was a major factor to our success. We challenged each other at practices, and if someone had an off night, there was always someone to step in and contribute."
Set One: Emma Willis scored the first two points of the match for Denver with a kill followed by a block, but WIU got out to an early 11-3 lead. DU went on a 6-0 run to cut into the Leathernecks' lead at 11-9, and proceeded to go on another run, this time 5-1, to take a 14-12 lead. WIU would later tie the set at 15, at which point, DU went on another run to go ahead 18-15. The Pioneers stretched the lead to 21-18 before the Leathernecks went on a 4-1 run to tie the set back up at 22. There would be ties at 23 and 24 before WIU recorded back-to-back kills to win the set, 26-24. DU opened the match hitting .071 behind 15 kills, with Teal Schnurr, Principato and Boe each having three kills. Boteju had eight assists and four digs and Rooke had four digs as well in the frame. Carrabine had back-to-back service aces, Willis and Latham combined for two assisted blocks and Schnurr had a solo block. There were six ties and two lead changes in the set.
Set Two: DU scored the first three points of the set due to kills from Anderson and Latham and a WIU attack error. The lead was short-lived as WIU evened the set at three. Denver pulled ahead 7-4, but once again, Western Illinois rallied to tie the set. There would be ties at eight, nine, 10 and 11, before Denver went back ahead 14-11 thanks in part to two kills by Baird. The Pioneers led 16-13 when the Leathernecks tallied off four straight points to take the 17-16 lead, and from there it was back-and-forth with ties at 17 and 18. DU couldn't create much separation down the stretch, and each time they pulled ahead by two, WIU had an answer. There were three more ties at 22, 24 and 25, with Latham registering back-to-back kills to tie the set and give DU set point at 26-25. A WIU attack error gave Denver the needed point to take set two by the score of 27-25. There were a total of 12 ties and six lead changes in the set. Denver hit .317 in the set with a match-high 18 kills. Latham had a massive set with eight kills, and Anderson added eight assists and seven digs to lead the visitors. Boe had two more blocks, combining with Lydia Bartalo and Principato, in the frame.
Set Three: Unlike the first two sets, Denver scored the first two points of the set off of kills by Baird and Boe, and there would be no change of leads. Becca Mau had three straight kills to push the lead to 7-2, in the midst of an overall 6-0 run that pulled the Pioneers ahead 8-2. The lead stretched to nine at 14-5 and again at 15-6, and the Leathernecks would get it down to as close as five at 17-12, 18-13 and 20-15. However, DU remained in control, and closed out the set on a 5-0 to take the set 25-15. Denver hit a match-high .429 in the set with 17 kills. Baird, Boe and Becca Mau each had three kills in the frame. Boteju and Anderson each had eight assists (the team had 17 assists total in the set), and Rooke added seven digs and a service ace. Boe and Baird combined on a block, while Principato and Willis teamed up on two blocks.
Set Four: DU built an early 7-3 lead that grew to 13-7 when WIU went on a 6-0 run to tie the set at 13. DU would pull ahead again, this time by four at 18-14, but once again, WIU responded to cut into the lead, making it 18-17, eventually tying the set at 19. From there, DU closed the match on a 6-1 run to win the set 25-20 and the match. Baird closed the match with five kills, including three in Denver's final five points of the set. She also recorded the final point of the match on a block with Boe. Anderson had seven assists and added a service ace, while Carrabine had four digs to lead the Pioneers. Boteju had a service ace as well in the final set. At the net, Boe had two assisted blocks, combining with Baird and Mau, and Latham and Willis combined for a stop. There were five ties and one lead change, which occurred when Denver took the 2-1 lead. Denver closed the match hitting .222 in the fourth set with 14 kills.
UP NEXT: The Pioneers host the Summit League Tournament this Friday-Sunday at Hamilton Gymnasium. Denver has a first-round bye and will play the winner of the North Dakota State/ Omaha match on Saturday at 3 p.m.
TICKETS: Tickets for the Summit League Tournament are on sale now and can be PURCHASED HERE.
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