Volleyball: Team to take tropical trip to Hawaii
Devin Preston | Friday, October 13, 2006
The Irish have a huge week ahead of them. While the rest of the students are on break, they’ll go to work playing five matches before classes start back up next Oct. 23. The busy schedule starts with Big East opponent DePaul (5-16, 0-5 Big East) tonight at 7 in the Joyce Center. The Irish (11-5, 5-0 Big East) plan to continue their steady streak of victories in conference competition. The Blue Demons hope to put an end to their nine-match losing streak.On Monday, Notre Dame travels to Manoa, Hawaii., to play No. 11 Hawaii (13-4) in two matches on back-to-back days. If the Irish win, it will be their first win over a top-25 opponent this season. “It’s an opportunity to play against a ranked team and really raise our level of play,” head coach Debbie Brown said, “We’re hoping to win both matches. It’s a tall order, but it definitely can be done.” Sophomore Jamie Houston, the nation’s No. 8 hitter and this week’s national player of the week, leads the Warrior offense. She averages 5.55 kills per game at a hitting percentage of .250. Junior Adrianna Stasiuk’s 197 kills (3.4 per game) propel the Irish. Stasiuk also leads the team in serves, a facet of play that may help Notre Dame upset Hawaii. “We’re a strong serving team,” Brown said. “We have the ability to put a lot of pressure on them with our serves.”After Hawaii, Notre Dame returns to the Joyce Center for two more Big East matches. The Irish face Connecticut Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. and St. John’s Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. Connecticut’s defense, which has held its opponents to a hitting percentage of .173, depends upon freshman libero Jessica Isaac with 5.00 digs per game.On the Notre Dame side, senior libero Danielle Herndon leads the defense with 5.33 digs per game.The Sunday matchup against St. John’s will most likely be a battle for conference dominance, with both Notre Dame and St. John’s holding firm as the only two undefeated teams in the Big East. Notre Dame, the conference’s most efficient offense, boasts a hitting percentage of .291 and will be pitted against the Red Storm’s conference-leading defense, which has held opponents to a .140 hitting percentage. Brown expressed confidence about her team’s performance against conference opponents, especially what she has seen from her two setters. “Ashley and Jamel have done a great job of mixing it up and confusing other teams,” she said.