PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Nov. 3, 2012) – The Rutgers volleyball team won its second-straight match on Saturday, downing DePaul in five sets at College Ave. Gym. The Scarlet Knights picked up the victory with set scores of 25-14, 25-17, 22-25, 21-25 and 15-11. Rutgers (18-9, 4-8 BIG EAST) improved to 5-4 all-time against the Blue Demons (8-17, 3-9 BIG EAST).
“We came out aggressively in sets one and two,” said head coach CJ Werneke. “The priority for our program has always been serving, passing and defense and we really took control of the match and set the tone early on in those areas. After the break, those areas weren’t executed at the same level that they were in games one and two. Our team responded in game five and found a way to execute in those areas again. When we play like that, we’re a very tough team to beat and we play really competitively.”
The win marked the fourth conference victory of the season for the Scarlet Knights, the most for the program since the 2005 squad picked up six. The 18 wins overall are the most since the 2000 team recorded 23. Rutgers has now won two five-set matches in league play.
The Scarlet Knights hit .217 in the contest and totaled 57 kills, 54 assists, 63 digs and 9.0 blocks. The Blue Demons tallied a .190 hitting percentage to go along with 47 kills, 44 assists, 54 digs and 12.5 blocks.
Freshman Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) had a match-high 19 kills to go along with 10 digs, her third-straight double-double and 10th overall. Classmate Megan Stephenson (Burbank, Calif.) contributed 14 kills on a career-high .370 hitting percentage.
Senior setter Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) notched 47 assists to move into fourth on the single-season list with 1,195 in 2012. Defensively, freshman Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.) led all with 22 digs. Classmate Sarah Schmid (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) tallied six blocks, a new career-best.
The Scarlet Knights came out on a roll in the opening set, hitting a match-best .476. Leading 6-5, Rutgers went on a 9-1 run to make it 15-6, which proved too much for DePaul to overcome. The Scarlet Knights led the entire second game with the help of five kills from senior Alex Jones (Chesapeake, Va.).
Rutgers fell behind early in the third stanza to the Blue Demons, 3-0. The squad would take a 21-20 lead late before DePaul went on a 5-1 run to secure the set. The Scarlet Knights held a 14-13 lead in the fourth game, but the Blue Demons held off the charge and finished on a 5-2 run.
In the deciding set, DePaul took an early 4-2 lead. Rutgers then went on a 7-2 run with the help of three service aces from freshman Ronnie Komisarek (San Mateo, Calif.) and wouldn’t look back to win the match.
Rutgers is back in action at College Ave. Gym tomorrow, Nov. 4, to take on Notre Dame at 2 p.m. on Senior Day.
Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. For specific updates regarding women’s volleyball, follow the program on Twitter @Rvball.