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Irish pick up first win this season against FIU

Pat o'Brien | Monday, September 3, 2007

A weekend after losing their first home opener in 17 years, the Irish split two matches on the road to get a tally in the win column a weekend prior to their annual Shamrock Invitational tournament at home.

Notre Dame (1-3) defeated Florida International 3-2 (28-30, 30-27, 21-30, 30-24, 15-9) in the Tiger Invitational in Columbia, Mo., after a 3-0 (31-29, 30-25, 30-23) loss to the host school.

The Missouri game featured four Irish players who tallied double digit kills. Sophomore outside hitter Megan Fesl led the way with 14 kills, while junior middle blocker Justine Stremick had 13 kills and five blocks.

Sophomore outside hitter Serinity Phillips recorded 11 kills. Senior outside hitter Adrianna Stasiuk had 10 kills to go along with 21 digs.

The Tigers (3-2) were led by senior outside hitter Na Yang, who connected on 22 kills with only one error. Missouri also received major contributions from two of their sophomore stars. Outside hitter Julianna Klein recorded her second career double-double with 13 kills and 11 digs, and setter Lei Wang helped out with 38 assists.

The Irish made a thrilling comeback the following day to secure the win over Florida International. Down two games to one, Notre Dame found itself tied at 15.

From that point the Irish never looked back as Fesl recorded six of her team-high 20 kills for the 30-24 victory. The Irish continued their dominance by posting a 15-9 decision in the deciding game, leading the entire way.

“The whole team felt really good,” Fesl said. “Our coaches and players made really good scouting reports. [Mallorie Croal] has been injured, and she really helped me from the bench.”

Phillips aided Fesl’s effort by recording 15 total kills in the match. Stasiuk also chipped in with 14 kills and eight digs.

The Panthers (3-2) were led by sophomore outside hitters Yarimar Rosa and Olga Vergun. Both players paced the game with 24 and 22 kills, respectively. Rosa was named the Tiger tournament MVP while Vergun also added 13 digs.

The Irish will now return home for the Shamrock Invitational from Sept. 7-9 in the Joyce Center. The action starts Friday night against the College of Charleston and will continue throughout the weekend when Notre Dame takes on Alabama and No. 23 Ohio Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

“[The Shamrock Invitational] is another really tough tournament,” Fesl said. “Getting that win under our belts really helps with our confidence.”