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ND Volleyball: Team moves to fifth in Big East over weekend

Ellyn Michalak | Monday, November 5, 2007

After two conference wins this weekend, Notre Dame jumped into a tie for fifth place in the Big East. The Irish share the No. 5 spot with Connecticut and USF.

Notre Dame took down the Bulls, as well as Georgetown, at the Joyce Center this weekend. The Irish are currently 7-5 against conference opponents and 11-12 overall.

In Friday’s competition, the Irish easily handled Georgetown, shutting them out 3-0 (30-16, 30-20, 30-14).

Two Irish players earned double-doubles in the match. Senior captain and outside hitter Adrianna Stasiuk recorded 14 kills and 10 digs and senior setter Ashley Tarutis pitched in with 38 assists and 10 digs. Junior middle blocker Justine Stremick also helped dominate, she earned 13 kills and seven blocks, while freshman libero Angela Puente aided the defense with 13 overall digs.

The Irish beat the Hoyas for the ninth straight time in series history. The Irish hold a 17-1 series record over Georgetown.

The Irish trumped the Hoyas with a .395 offensive attack percentage. On defense, the Irish all took care of business holding the Hoyas to a .031 attack percentage.

Notre Dame kept its momentum rolling into Sunday’s match where it earned a 3-1 win (30-25, 30-24, 21-30, 30-21) pushing their home winning streak to four matches.

Notre Dame had 72 overall kills against USF.

While the Irish earned a .275 hitting percentage in the day’s match, several Irish players effectively aided offensive play. Freshman middle blocker Kellie Sciacca earned 10 kills while sophomore outside hitter Serinity Phillips and Stremick accounted for most of Notre Dame’s kills in the match and Tarutis posted 20 assists. Puente dominated the Irish defense with 18 digs, tying her career best.

“I think we really had a good mind frame in both of this weekend’s matches,” Stasiuk said. “We came in to compete and we really had a lot of motivation to win and get [a] better place for the Big East tournament.”

The Irish will host both Cincinnati and Louisville this coming weekend at the Joyce Center in their season’s final two conference games. The Irish will then move on to Milwaukee to compete in the Big East quarterfinals.

“We definitely have to work really hard this week to prepare for next weekend’s games,” Stasiuk said. “Cincinnatti and Louisville are both really tough competitors.”