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Irish ready for two games

Anne Loughery | Friday, October 29, 2004

Away games can be a source of anxiety and frustration.Playing on an unfamiliar court in front of a fervent crowd cheering in favor of the home team can be more than intimidating. But for Notre Dame, this is a non-issue.”We’ve had one of our craziest traveling years yet,” freshman Adrianna Stasiuk said. “But being on the road hasn’t really affected us. We just focus on playing.” The Irish (11-6, 4-0 in the Big East), have registered a 9-2 away record this season and hope to add to their road success as they face Georgetown on Saturday and Villanova on Sunday.The last time the Irish took to the courts, they defeated St. John’s in just three games 30-16, 30-17, 30-20. Notre Dame showcased its offensive skills in the contest, hitting .330 in every game and ending with a .356 attack percentage.Since that match, Stasiuk said the team has worked to hone its serving and passing skills in practice. “We’ve really been focusing on scoring points when we have the serve and getting on a run to finish off our opponents,” Stasiuk said. “Everyone’s had a really great work ethic in practice, and they’re giving 100 percent.”Additionally, the Irish have been sizing up their opponents by watching tapes of games and learning about each team’s strengths and weaknesses.Georgetown (13-10) boasts big hitters, according to Stasiuk, and is known for putting up a fight. After losing to West Virginia on Sunday 30-26, 30-25, 30-26, the Hoyas will likely be looking for redemption. Villanova (7-14) also looks to be a tough competitor, as it will be thriving off the momentum the Wildcats gained from Wednesday’s win. The Wildcats defeated Wagner in three games 30-21, 30-9, 30-19.Despite the challenges the Irish will face this weekend, Stasiuk says the Irish have a chance at winning if each individual plays their best.”If everyone does their job, we’ll do well,” Stasiuk said. “We’ve been kind of frustrated this season because even though we’re 4-0 in the Big East, we’ve been up and down in non-conference matches. We’ve kind of been using that as our motivation for winning.”