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ND Volleyball: Irish take final three games to top Eagles

Katie Heit | Sunday, November 10, 2013

In a comeback victory, Notre Dame rallied from two games down to win three in a row and take the 3-2 win over Boston College on Saturday.

The Irish (11-14, 5-9 ACC) lagged behind early, struggling to score as they fell 18-25 and 17-25 in the first two games. Irish coach Debbie Brown said something clicked after those first two losses. 

“Our passing got a little better,” Brown said. “We were able to slow down their offense a little. We just got into a better rhythm in the last three games. Once we got the momentum and the confidence, we just built on that.” 

The Irish controlled the third game, pulling ahead early and controlling the game until the 25-18 victory. The fourth set was more of a battle, with 17 ties and eight lead changes. The Irish fought for every point before an error by Boston College and an ace by senior setter Maggie Brindock closed out the game. 

The final game of the match featured eight ties and three lead changes. The Eagles pulled ahead 13-11 before Notre Dame took control. With the Irish up 16-15, a kill by junior middle blocker Jeni Houser gave the Irish victory of the game and the match. 

Brown said the toughest part of battling Boston College was the strength of their outside hitters.

“Early on we had a tough time stopping their outside hitters,” Brown said. “We did a much better job of that as the match went on, so that was the biggest challenge for us.” 

The Irish posted some impressive stats throughout the match. Senior outside hitter Nicole Smith led the team with 14 kills, followed closely by junior outside hitter Toni Alugbue and Houser, each with 11 kills. Brindock had 33 assists and six digs. 

Despite these stellar individual performances, Brown said she thought the win was a product of the entire team working together.

“We played everyone on the roster who was there,” Brown said. “At certain times, whoever we called on came in and did the job that needed to be done.” 

With their fifth ACC win under their belts, the Irish will head to Coral Gables, Fla., to take on Miami on Friday at 7 p.m

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu