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ND Volleyball: Rutgers in town to face Irish

Ellyn Michalak | Friday, October 5, 2007

Tied for sixth place in the Big East, Notre Dame can move up in the standings with a win Saturday at 2 p.m. at home against Rutgers.

The Irish are 6-8 overall with a conference record of 2-2. With the .500 league record, the Irish are tied with Connecticut for No. 6 in the Big East, while St. John’s, Cincinnati and Louisville have perfect records of 4-0 and both Villanova and Pittsburgh are 3-1.

Last weekend, Notre Dame split its home series, with its first 3-0 sweep of the season against Seton Hall Saturday, followed by a tough loss to Villanova Sunday.

“I think there were some really bright spots [this weekend] and there were also some results that were less than what we expected,” coach Debbie Brown said.

In Saturday’s match against the Pirates, the Irish played their most effective offensive game of the season with a .319 attack percentage.

Senior setter Ashley Tarutis recorded the best offensive numbers with 25 assists and the highest kill percentage, successfully hitting six of seven balls.

Senior captain Adrianna Stasiuk posted nine kills, and freshman outside hitter Kellie Sciacca posted seven.

Though Notre Dame continued its successful offensive output with a .294 attack percentage against Villanova, the Irish fell back to .500. Sophomore outside and opposite hitter Serenity Phillips recorded a career-high 26 kills while sophomore outside and opposite hitter Megan Fesl had 15 and Stasiuk had 14.

“The team is continuing to learn a lot. There is no question that we feel like we shot ourselves in the foot with Villanova,” Brown said. “Things were under control and then we let the match slip away. We are looking to regroup and learn from our mistakes.”

Saturday’s contest will be the third conference home game of the season for Notre Dame.

Last season, the Irish swept Rutgers 3-0. The Scarlet Knights are 1-3 in the Big East with an overall record of 3-10. They have suffered two losses to No. 19 Oregon and, most recently, lost their home opener 3-0 to South Florida.