ND Volleyball: Notre Dame seeks title
Laura Coletti | Friday, November 9, 2012
The Irish are set to take the court two final times during Big East regular season play this weekend. They will welcome Cincinnati to Purcell Pavilion on Friday evening and travel to Marquette on Sunday.
As Notre Dame (19-6, 12-1 Big East) approaches the close of Big East play, junior captain and outside hitter Andrea McHugh said the team has performed well under pressure and is looking to continue its 10-match win streak. With victories over the Bearcats (11-16, 9-4) and the Golden Eagles (23-4, 12-1), the Irish will clinch the Big East regular season title. A win this weekend will also give the Irish their 19th 20-win season, and their first since 2009.
“I am so proud of how the team has performed so far this year,” McHugh said. “We have been put in some pretty difficult situations during games, but because of our composure we have been able to come out victorious. One of our goals was to win the Big East regular season and with two wins this weekend, we can clinch that title.”
Marquette also has the opportunity to clinch the title with two wins this weekend. McHugh said Notre Dame is concentrating on Cincinnati first.
“It’s really important for us to focus on one team at a time and not get too ahead of ourselves,” she said.
The Irish have put in their time preparing for each team this weekend, primarily focusing on defensive play to counter each team’s strong offense.
“Cincinnati and Marquette both have very strong offenses and run the loop a lot,” McHugh said. “During practices, we have been putting a lot of emphasis on defense, especially against certain plays that both teams will run. In addition, we’ve been tuning up individual skills, like serve-receive passing, serving and hitting.”
The team has been performing well defensively lately, with some individuals receiving recognition for their play last week. Freshman libero Taylor Morey earned Big East Freshman of the Week, while junior setter Maggie Brindock was put on the weekly honor roll. Morey averaged 5.50 digs and 1.88 assists per set in Notre Dame’s matches against Rutgers and Seton Hall, while Brindock averaged 2.0 kills, 11.13 assists and 2.75 digs per set over the weekend. She also had a triple-double in Notre Dame’s win over Rutgers.
“As a team, we have been doing really well with our blocking and attacking,” McHugh said. “We are continuing to work on our defense and becoming more aggressive with our serving.”
The Irish are set to square off against the Bearcats tonight at 7 p.m. and the Golden Eagles on Sunday at 2 p.m.
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