Sept. 21, 2017
• The Pioneers are 6-2 overall against the Mastodons, with a 4-0 record at home.
• Last season, Denver split the season with Fort Wayne, with the home team winning each match. • In the match held in Denver, the Pioneers won 3-1 behind 16 kills from Kayla Principato and 18 assists from Piyusha Boteju.
• Denver has used two different starting lineups through the first 12 matches this season. Principato, Emma Willis, Cassie Baird, Tina Boe, Boteju and Cassidy Rooke have started all 12 matches. Becca Latham started three matches and Teal Schnurr has started nine.
• Latham started the first three matches of the season, with the Pioneers going 3-0 in those matches. Schnurr has started the last nine matches, in which DU went 6-3.
• DU is 13-5 overall in league openers, and 4-0 in Summit League openers.
ON THE AIR
• Sunday's conference opener will be televised by Altitude, with Brad Thompson (play-by-play) and Megan Connor (color commentary) calling the match.
SCOUTING FORT WAYNE
•Fort Wayne is currently 8-7 overall and 3-1 on the road.
•Fort Wayne opens up league play Friday against Oral Roberts.
• The Mastodons are coming off of a 1-2 result at the Golden Grizzlies Invitational, with a 3-0 win over Oakland and 1-3 loss to Towson and 2-3 loss to Kent State.
• Nicole Rightnowar leads the team with 192 kills (3.37 k/s), but is only hitting .165 (192-90-617). The junior also leads Fort Wayne in service aces with 14 on the season.
• Elizabeth Britner has 213 digs (3.74 d/s) and Madison Jaqua has 455 assists (9.68 a/s) to lead the team in the respective categories.
• Sydney Boerst has 60 total blocks, 10 solo and 50 assisted.
THE COMEBACK KIDS
• Facing set point at 24-22 in the second set against the College of Charleston, the Pioneers rallied to score the next four points to win the set 26-24, behind kills from Principato, Latham and Schnurr.
• In the third set against Charleston, DU was down 23-20 before they strung together five-straight points to close out the set 25-23. Boe, Latham (2) and Schnurr led the charge with kills down the stretch.
• In the third set against UC Davis, the Pioneers were down 22-19, but went on a 7-2 run to close the set and win 26-24.
• Denver showed its resiliency in the second set against No. 5 Texas, 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.
•Down 22-17 in the third set against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the Pioneers 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.
• In the fourth set against the Islanders, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi went on a 5-0 run to take a 17-16 lead, and would push the lead to 20-17. 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 Lydia Bartalo gave the Pioneers the set at 28-26 and the match at 3-1.
•In the fourth set against San Diego State, DU used a 6-0 run to tie the set at 19, and would fight off one match point by the Aztecs before ultimately falling 28-26.
• DU has five players with over 50 kills, with Latham leading the team with 125 through 12 matches. Principato is second on the team at 123, Baird sits at 81, Willis has 69 and Schnurr has 53.
• Denver had four players with 10-plus kills against USC Upstate with Latham (14), Principato (12), Bartalo (10) and Schnurr (10). Against UC Davis, DU had three players with 10 kills by Baird, Principato and Latham. Against Gonzaga, DU had three players with 12 kills by Principato, 11 by Latham and 10 by Baird.
• Latham had a career-high 16 kills against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
• The Pioneers have 553 kills with a hitting percentage of .252.
WE'LL HAVE THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE PLEASE
• Boteju has had five double-doubles this season. Boteju had 29 assists and 10 digs against USC Upstate, and then had 28 assists and 11 digs later in the day against the College of Charleston. Boteju added another double-double against Niagara with 19 assists and 20 digs (a career-high). Against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Boteju had 20 assists, 11 digs, and against Eastern Illinois she had 18 assists and 12 digs.
• Baird had 10 kills and 10 digs against Charleston, 10 kills and 11 digs versus UC Davis, as well as a double-double against Gonzaga with 10 kills and 10 digs. She has six in her career.
• Bartalo had 10 kills and 12 digs in her second match as a Pioneer against USC Upstate.
• Ellie Anderson (22 assists, 10 digs) recorded her first double-doubles as a Pioneer against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
BLOCK IT UP
• Willis and Boe currently sit first and second in the Summit League in blocks per set, at 1.24 and 1.15 B/S, respectively.
•Willis is tied for second for total blocks in the Summit League at 51 (three solo, 48 assisted).
• DU has 103.5 total blocks through 12 matches (2.52 blocks/ set),
with Willis leading the team with 51 total blocks (three solo, 48 assisted).
• Willis had a season-high 10 assisted blocks in the win against Eastern Illinois, and Boe had 10 total blocks against San Diego State (two solo, eight assisted). They are the only two players to reach double figures in a match this season.
THE HONOR IS ALL OURS
•Principato was named Summit League Offensive Player of the Week on Aug. 28 for her performance in Charleston.
• Latham was named the Pioneer Classic MVP, and Boteju and Boe were named to the All-Tournament Team.
• Latham was named to the All-Tournament team at the American Campus Classic after having 29 kills in the three matches.
•Principato and Latham were both named to the Denver Invitational All-Tournament Team.
REACHING NEW LEVELS
• Denver's 6-0 start was the best start in program history, surpassing the 5-0 start in 2014.
• Through Sept. 5, the Pioneers were only one of 29 undefeated teams.
• Boteju recorded her 500th career dig and Latham registered her 400th career kill in the match against Niagara.
• Baird registered her 500th career kill in the first set against Texas.
• Emma Willis recorded her 200th total block against UC Riverside.
• Principato recorded her 800th career kill in the second set of the match against UC Riverside.
• Denver played a No. 1 ranked team for the first time in school history when it faced Minnesota.
• In their first season as DU Pioneers, the freshmen have made an immediate impact.
• Anderson is second on the team in assists (180), third on the team in service aces with eight, and fourth in digs (59). Bartalo is fifth on the team in digs with 54, Boe is second on the team in total blocks at 45 (five solo, 40 assisted) and in hitting percentage (.283), and Macy Carrabine is fifth on the team in assists (16).
LEAD THE WAY
• Along with Latham (kills) and Willis (total blocks), Boteju leads the team in assists (237), Rooke leads the team in digs (128), and Principato in points scored (139). Baird, Willis and Schnurr all have nine service aces to lead the team.
• The Pioneers were picked as the Summit League favorites in the preseason poll.
• DU received the top spot for the fourth year in a row.
• They received five out of the eight first-place votes, earning 47 total points.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
• Junior outside hitter Latham was named as "Players to Watch" in the Summit League Preseason Poll.
• Latham appeared in all 116 sets for Denver in 2016, tallying 210 kills at a mark of 1.81 per set and a hitting percentage of .206.
• Last season, Latham had career highs in kills (11, vs. North Dakota State), attacks (31, vs. North Dakota State), hitting percentage (.400, at IUPUI), assists (1, three times), blocks (6, vs. Utah State), and both solo (1, four times) and assisted blocks (5, vs. Utah State).
• Coming into league play, Latham has played 41 sets, registering 125 kills (3.05 k/s), hitting .331, and scoring 137.5 points for the Pioneers.
• Denver owns a 66-11 (.857) home record in the Hamilton Gymnasium over the past six seasons, including a perfect 18-0 in 2015.
• Last season, the Pioneers protected home court with a 14-1 record, losing only to Utah State in a non-league contest.
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