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ND Volleyball: Irish drop three over break

Ellyn Michalak | Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Notre Dame easily won a conference game to start off its fall break schedule before dropping three straight road games against top teams.

The Irish began the week on Oct. 19 by defeating DePaul 3-0 (30-12, 30-13, 30-15). The Irish dominated, and sophomore middle blocker Kim Kristoff’s five aces combined with freshman libero Megan Dunne’s nine digs to aid the Irish victory over the Blue Demons.

“Against DePaul, everyone was motivated from point one through the end of the game,” senior captain Adrianna Stasiuk said. “It was a total team effort. There were no let ups, and consistent energy.”

Although freshman middle blocker Kellie Sciacca earned the Big East’s freshman of the week award for the second time this season, Notre Dame’s team efforts in the three road games this past week did not prove as successful.

The Irish first traveled to Baton Rouge, La., to compete in a non-conference match against LSU. The Irish narrowly lost the match 3-2 (30-27, 28-30, 30-16, 26-30, 15-15), after battling for five games.

“We had a really slow start against LSU in the first game,” Stasiuk said. “The rest of the match we were playing catch-up. Even though we fought hard in the end, we could never make up for the first game.”

Stasiuk led the Irish in the match with 15 kills and 21 digs, placing her third in Notre Dame’s all-time dig history. Sophomore outside hitter Serinity Phillips also recorded top marks with 20 kills and 17 digs. Despite senior setter Ashley Tarutis aiding the offense with 57 assists, the Irish weren’t able to win the close fifth game.

The Irish then traveled to Storrs, Conn., with hopes of beating Connecticut, but despite having the same conference record as the Huskies (5-5), the Irish were unable to pull off the win.

“Their defense just took us apart. UConn just played outstanding defense, which is very frustrating to see in an opponent,” Stasiuk said.

Phillips again led the Irish offense, but her 14 kills were not enough to defeat the tough Huskies defense.

On Sunday, the Irish completed their fall break trip by going to New York with hopes of beating No. 22 St. John’s. The Red Storm is currently second in the Big East with a 9-1 conference record and an overall record of 24-3. St. John’s outstanding .594 hitting percentage ultimately allowed them to dominate the Irish defense, and the Red Storm ultimately swept the match 3-0 (30-21, 30-24, 30-23).

“St. John’s middles ran a very fast offense, and they were very efficient hitters,” Stasiuk said. “Their defense and aggressive serving were tough to beat.”

The Irish will continue their conference season this Friday with a home match against Georgetown, followed by another home match on Sunday against South Florida.