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ND Volleyball: Irish host first match at new Purcell Pavilion

Laura Myers | Friday, October 30, 2009

Notre Dame will bring its eight-game win streak into a brand new venue when they take on Seton Hall and Rutgers in the Purcell Pavilion this weekend.

Saturday’s matchup with the Pirates will be the first athletic event held in the Pavilion, which has been under renovation since the spring.

“It’s great to be back in our regular locker room,” Irish coach Debbie Brown said. “We get to practice in there for the first time tomorrow so we’re excited about that.”

But that’s not all Notre Dame has to be excited about. The Irish (14-4, 8-0 Big East) remain undefeated in conference play with three weeks left in the regular season.

“We have high expectations,” Brown said. “We’re so excited about the start that we’ve had in the Big East and we want to keep it rolling. I think the team is ready to do that.”

The Pirates (9-15, 3-5) and the Scarlet Knights (8-15, 1-7) have both struggled in 2009. Seton Hall is coming off of a 3-0 win Sunday over Rutgers, which has lost its last five games. Pirate outside hitter Meghan Matusiak was named to the Big East honor roll Monday for her performance in the victory.

Brown said the Irish have continued to improve their service game, which should help out tremendously this weekend.

“I think in particular our serving has been good and this week in practice that’s really stood out, so I think that puts a lot of pressure on the other team. We can run some points on our serve and it just makes it tough for the other teams.”

Brown did not point to a specific focus for either game.

“The big challenge for us is just to continue to play at a consistently high level,” she said. “That was one of our goals in the preseason, that we wouldn’t have a lot of fluctuations in our play, and I’ve been really pleased with how the team has done that so we just want to continue that.

“I don’t want to say that we’re cocky about it. I think we’re confident and we’re playing on a good level. I think if we continue to execute we’ll be in a good place.”

The Irish will play Seton Hall Saturday at 2 p.m. and Rutgers Sunday at 1 p.m.