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Volleyball: Win streak snapped at 15

Tom Dorwart | Monday, November 7, 2005

For only the second time this season, the No. 5 Notre Dame volleyball team (22-2, 11-1 Big East) lost.

Sunday, the Irish – who had won 15 consecutive matches – fell at Pittsburgh (16-9, 9-3 Big East) 30-23, 30-15, 27-30. 28-30, 13-15.

Saturday the Irish beat West Virginia in Morgantown 30-22, 30-20, 30-17, which kept alive their win streak for just one more day.

Senior Lauren Brewster led the Irish in both matches with 17 kills on .481 hitting against the Mountaineers and 20 kills on .364 hitting against the Panthers.

Fellow seniors Lauren Kelbley and Carolyn Cooper added 16 kills and nine kills, respectively, and sophomore Adrianna Stasuik registered eight.

In the final game against the Panthers, the Irish led 10-8. The Panthers then went on a 6-1 tear to take a commanding 14-11 lead. Notre Dame cut the lead to 14-13 but fell when Stasiuk uncharacteristically delivered a service error. On the day, the Irish had only three service aces but 14 service errors.

Pitt coach Chris Beerman must have said something fiery during the intermission between the second and third games.

The Irish had what looked like an insurmountable lead, but the Panthers stormed back.

In the first two games, the Irish pounded 33 kills on .342 hitting. After the break, the Irish had only 32 kills on .042 hitting.

The reason?

Pittsburgh made adjustments.

In the first two games, the Panthers registered only two blocks but blocked 15 spikes in the final three games.

The loss ended what was the second-longest winning-streak in program history for Notre Dame. It was the longest under coach Debbie Brown.

Despite the loss, the Irish remain tied for first place in the Big East with Louisville. If the two squads are tied heading into the Big East tournament, the Irish would receive the top seed because of their win over the Cardinals two weekends ago.