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ND Volleyball: Squad falls to Hawaii

Kyle Cassily | Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Notre Dame fell out of first place in the Big East with a 3-0 loss to St. John’s at home Sunday in a battle of the league unbeatens.

It was the final match of five games Notre Dame played over fall break. The Irish (13-8, 7-1 Big East) went 2-3, sweeping DePaul and Connecticut but suffering back-to-back losses to No. 16 Hawaii.

Notre Dame lost to the Rainbow Wahine 3-0 and 3-1 on Oct. 16 and 17 in front of a crowd of 6,027 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

“Hawaii is just a great atmosphere to play volleyball, they get a great fan base,” Irish head coach Debbie Brown said. “They’re very appreciative, When we left the court after Tuesday there was a standing ovation. They like good volleyball.”

Notre Dame 3, DePaul 0

The Irish defeated DePaul 30-22, 30-16, 30-10 at home behind nine-kill performances from freshmen Christina Kaelin and Serinity Phillips.

Junior captain Adrianna Stasiuk led the team in digs with 11.

The Irish dominated the first game and never relinquished the lead, ending the game on a 3-0 run.

A kill from Kaelin put DePaul down two games, and a 10-point stretch on the serve by freshman Jamel Nicholas ended the third game and completed the sweep.

“I felt like we had a good start to fall break and played at a high level to take us into Hawaii,” Brown said.

Hawaii 3, Notre Dame 0

Sophomore Mallorie Croal led the Irish in a losing effort with 11 kills in the 27-30, 26-30, 27-30 loss.

Stasiuk had nine kills and freshman Kim Kristoff had six blocks while the Rainbow Wahine snapped a six-game Irish win streak. Junior Ashley Tarutis led the team in assists with 22.

Hawaii sophomore Jamie Houston had 18 kills and put an end to Irish comebacks in each of the games with timely kills. Houston rallied the Wahine from a three-point deficit with three kills in a 6-0 run to take the match with a sweep.

“We got better,” Brown said. “I do think we learned a lot. I don’t think we played great, it was a little bit more high error than what we needed to be to win.”

Hawaii 3, Notre Dame 1

The Irish took one game against the Rainbow Wahine 28-30, 25-30, 30-22, 23-30 and were led by sophomore Justine Stremick, who had 14 kills.

After dropping two close games, the Irish rallied in the third game to take their first lead, on a kill from Kristoff, and eventually the game. The team went on a 10-2 run after the scored was tied at 20-20 to make the score 2-1.

The Irish opened up a 13-11 lead in the fourth game, but Hawaii rallied back for the lead and put the game away with a 7-2 game-winning stretch.

Notre Dame 3, Connecticut 0

Phillips led the Irish in kills with 16 and the team won at home 30-12, 30-24, 30-27 Friday.

The Irish were helped in the first game by four attack errors from the Huskies and kills from Stremick and Croal. Kristoff finished the match with a five-serve stretch.

“We came out and played a really good game one, really steady and played a good match overall,” Brown said.

Stasiuk ended the second game with a kill and the Irish took the match in the third game off a Huskies attack error.

St. John’s 3, Notre Dame 0

Stasiuk left the match in the first game with an ankle sprain and the Irish fell to the undefeated Red Storm 30-32, 24-30, 22-30.

“Losing Adrianna is huge for us,” Brown said. “She is a primary passer and takes a huge offensive load, and it’s not that Megan [Fesl] can’t or didn’t do a great job – she did a good job. We’re just not used to having that leadership off the court.”

The Irish dropped a close first game after several kills from the Red Storm’s Latoya Blunt squashed a late rally.

“One of the things we talked about before playing this team is that every match that they’ve won – which is a whole bunch – they win the first game,” Brown said. “I think we felt like it was really important to come out with a really good start and win the first game and put them in a position they’re not used to being in.”

The Red Storm never trailed in the second game and trailed only briefly in the third game as it completed the sweep and took control of first place.