Volleyball Seeks Tenth Straight Victory over DePaul

Senior MaryKate Imrie leads the Horizon League and ranks 55th nationally with 10.56 assists per set
Senior MaryKate Imrie leads the Horizon League and ranks 55th nationally with 10.56 assists per set

Sept. 23, 2013

2013 Season Statistics
Horizon League Statistics
Sternard and Garcia featured in Horizon League’s Weekly Recap
Video Highlights from Hawkeye Challenge (Sept. 13-14)
Video Highlights from UIC Invitational (Sept. 6-7)
Photos from UIC Invitational (Sept. 6-7)
2013 Prospectus

CHICAGO – The UIC volleyball team seeks its tenth consecutive victory over city-rival DePaul Wednesday (Sept. 25) inside the Flames Athletic Center. The Flames (5-9) have not lost to the Blue Demons (12-0) since the 2003 season. During last year’s matchup (9/8/12), Aubrey Sniegowski led UIC with 14 kills and the Flames won in straight sets at the Chicago Classic.

The Flames most recently competed in Kent State’s Golden Flashes Classic (Sept. 20-21). UIC swept Binghamton but fell to Eastern Illinois and Kent State. DePaul enters the matchup undefeated and recently won the tournament title at the SIUE Cougar Invitational (Sept. 20-21). The Blue Demons have won 14 consecutive matches dating back to the end of last season.

Nadia Edwards, the head coach at DePaul, and UIC head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley played together collegiately at Penn State. Edwards (2001 graduate) and Schumacher-Cawley (2002 graduate) were members of the Nittany Lion’s national championship squad in 1999.


Who: UIC vs. DePaul
When: Wednesday, Sept. 25 • 7 p.m. CST
Location: Chicago, Ill. • Flames Athletic Center
Series History: UIC leads 29-26-1
Live Video: HERE
Twitter: HERE
Live Stats: HERE 


DePaul (12-0)
Nickname: Blue Demons
Conference: Big East
Head Coach: Nadia Edwards (4th season)
2012 Record:  10-18 overall, 5-10 Big East (t-11th in the Big East)
2013 Leader in:
Kills - Vesela Zapryanova (156 kills)
Assists – Colleen Smith (382 assists)
Aces - Vesela Zapryanova (20 aces)
Digs - Allyson Rooks (150 digs)
Blocks – Natalie Rizzo (42 blocks)


UIC made quick work of Binghamton (W, 3-0) in the morning and later fell in four sets to host Kent State Saturday on the final day of the Golden Flashes Classic. The Flames fell to Eastern Illinois (L, 3-0) on Friday. Kent State (3-0) took home the team title while Eastern Illinois (2-1), UIC (1-2) and Binghamton (0-3) rounded out the tournament field.

For her solid play over the weekend, senior MaryKate Imrie was named to the All-Tournament Team. Imrie finished the weekend with 102 assists, 16 digs, six blocks and four service aces. This is Imrie's second all-tournament selection this season as she was also honored at the UIC Invitational.

Imrie passed the 3,000-career assist milestone in the first set against Eastern Illinois and is one of only seven players in program history to reach that mark. Imrie now owns 3,099 career assists and needs just 61 more assists to jump two spots in UIC’s all-time rankings. Imrie will pass Eva Svoboda (3,156 - 1992-95) and Jessica Dalke (3,159 - 2008-11) to move into fifth all-time in program history. If Imrie continues at her current pace, she will finish her career third in program history with over 3,800 assists.

Imrie leads the Horizon League and ranks 55th nationally with 10.56 assists per set. Imrie’s 65-assist performance against Marshall (Sept. 6) is the most in a single match in the Horizon League this season. In the four-set win over Drake (Sept. 13), Imrie collected 50 assists and three total blocks.

Junior Sara Sternard did not commit an attack error on Saturday as she put down 23 kills on 47 attempts (.489 attack percentage) against Binghamton and Kent State. She only committed two attack errors during the entire weekend and had 28 kills on 62 attempts (.419 attack percentage).

Sternard also passed the 200-career total block milestone in the third set against Eastern Illinois Friday and collected 10 total blocks Saturday. She recorded 13 total blocks overall during the weekend and leads the squad with 42 blocks this season.

She ranks third on UIC with 141 kills and tops the squad with a .293 attack percentage. Her .293 attack percentage also ranks fourth in the Horizon League. Sternard’s performance against TCU (12 kills on 22 attempts - .500 attack percentage) is the Horizon League’s seventh most efficient performance this season.

Sternard has been named to two all-tournament teams (Navy & Iowa) so far this season. Sternard reached the 500-career kill milestone against Chicago State (Sept. 7) and now owns 575 career kills.

Freshman Kara Johnson has been a major offensive contributor for the Flames early in the 2013 campaign. She has posted double-digit kills in nine of 14 matches and leads UIC with 166 kills this season.

Johnson finished with 31 kills over the weekend at the Golden Flashes Classic. She led the Flames in the sweep over Binghamton with 11 kills on 25 attempts for a strong .320 attack percentage. She also had 14 kills on a match-high 46 attempts against Kent State.

Johnson has taken a team-high 516 swings and her 63 attempts against Marshall are the most of any Horizon League player this season. Johnson’s 3.19 kills per set rank fifth in the Horizon League and third amongst all Horizon League freshmen.

Johnson finished with 20 kills against Marshall, the most of any UIC player this season and the third highest Horizon League effort. The Champaign, Ill. native has also compiled 109 digs, which is third best on UIC. Johnson owns three of UIC’s five double-doubles this season. 

Senior Justine Garcia collected a team-high 44 digs over the weekend and leads UIC with 164 digs this season. Garcia compiled a team-high 18 digs against Kent State, which is one off her season high of 19 (vs. Elon, Aug. 30).

Garcia currently owns 848 career digs and will pass the 1,000-career dig milestone later this season if she continues at her current pace of 3.15 digs per set. Her 3.15 digs per set currently sits tenth best in the Horizon League.

Garcia has also been UIC’s top threat from the service line as her 0.33 aces per set (17 total) ranks second in the Horizon League. Garcia’s four service aces against both Elon and Iowa (Sept. 14) rank as the Horizon League’s second best performance this season.

Junior Molly McCoy put down 13 kills on 31 attempts against Kent State and also collected 11 digs for her first double-double of the 2013 season. McCoy’s double-double is the fifth for UIC this season and first since Sept. 7 (Kara Johnson vs. Chicago State).

McCoy finished with a team-high 33 kills over the weekend and was the only UIC player in double-digits against Eastern Illinois (12 kills on 33 attempts). McCoy has recorded double-digit kills in ten of UIC’s 14 matches this season. She ranks second on the squad with 147 kills and her 3.00 kills per set sit seventh in the Horizon League.

In the five-set win over Marshall, McCoy set a new career high with 19 kills on 35 attempts for a stellar .429 attack percentage. The performance ranks as the fourth highest kill total in the Horizon League this season. McCoy owns 371 career kills and will pass the 500-career kill milestone late in the season if she continues at her current pace.

Junior Maggie Strus set the program record with 600 digs last season and has picked up right where she left off. Strus ranks second on UIC with 123 digs this season and passed the 1,000-career dig milestone against Marshall.

In the four-set victory over Drake, Strus compiled a season-high 24 digs. Her 22 digs against Marshall is one of the best five-set performances in the Horizon League this season.

Strus owns 1,075 career digs and needs 135 more digs to enter the program's Top 10. If Strus continues on her current pace, she will finish the season with over 1,260 career digs and rank sixth in program history entering her senior season.

Sophomore Tracy Friel began the 2013 campaign with four service aces against Elon and has been one of the Horizon League’s top servers this season. Friel currently owns 14 aces and ranks eighth in the Horizon League with 0.27 aces per set.

Friel has been strong as of late as she has collected five aces over the past three matches. In the sweep over Binghamton, Friel had one ace in the first set and two in the dominating third set victory. Friel has also been a major contributor on the backline as she ranks fourth on the squad with 105 digs.

Freshman Casey Harris has been steadily improving her offensive output this season and ranked fourth on the squad with 20 kills over the weekend. Harris put down a season-high nine kills on only 18 attempts (.444 attack percentage) in the sweep over Binghamton.

Harris has also been a major presence at the net for the Flames as she ranks second on the team with 30 total blocks in just 42 sets played. Harris had two solo blocks and four block assists against Binghamton to record the Horizon League’s second best three-set block performance. 

The Flames’ thrilling five-set victory over Marshall included the best offensive team performance in the Horizon League this season. UIC collected 73 assists on 76 kills, which are both high team marks in the League’s statistics.

In the season-opening victory over Elon, UIC recorded 13 aces against the Phoenix. The 13 aces are the most in a match by any Horizon League program this season.