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ND Volleyball: ND wins two matches in Tempe

Kyle Cassily | Monday, September 18, 2006

Notre Dame coach Debbie Brown moved two wins closer to 500 career victories this weekend at the school where she began her 21-year coaching career.

The Irish (6-5) earned 3-0 and 3-1 wins over Butler and Duke in the Courtyard by Marriot Classic at Arizona State University to push Brown’s win total to 497 all-time.

Brown began her head coaching career with the Sun Devils in 1983, compiling a 117-83 record over four years in Tempe.

Arizona State swept the Irish 3-0 in the Classic’s final game to take the tournament championship and give Notre Dame a 2-1 record – one weekend after the team finished 1-2 in the University of Northern Iowa Invitational.

“I felt we played pretty well against both Butler and Duke,” Brown said. “Our serving and passing were really good – we had a strong offensive performance in those matches. It started from the fact that we had really good serving and passing.”

Junior Adrianna Stasiuk earned all-tournament honors as she was named the Co-Best Attacker with Arizona State’s Margie Giordano. Sophomore Justine Stremick was named the Classic’s Best Blocker.

The Classic finished with a three-way tie between Arizona State, Duke and Notre Dame as all teams finished with a 2-1 record. Duke was eliminated after losing five games in its three matches.

Arizona State and Notre Dame both lost four games on the weekend, and the Sun Devils were able to take the title by way of their head-to-head victory over the Irish.

Notre Dame 3, Butler 0

Notre Dame swept Butler by scores of 30-23, 30-19 and 30-21 on game-ending kills by Serinity Phillips, Stremick and Stasiuk.

In addition to the match-ender, Stasiuk recorded 13 kills and 13 digs on the match – the sixth time this year the junior has reached double digits in both categories at the same time and the 30th time of her career.

Libero Danielle Herndon led the Irish for the ninth straight game with 21 digs – the third longest dig streak in Notre Dame history. Junior Ashley Tarutis led both squads in assists with 31.

The Irish gained a 25-16 lead in the third game off a kill from freshman Kim Kristoff and had a .400 attack percentage on the game before Stasiuk finished the Bulldogs.

The first game was won on back-to-back kills by Phillips to cap an 8-3 run. Butler had cut the lead to 22-20 before the Irish were able to close it out.

In the second stanza, Notre Dame got out to an early 7-2 lead and never relinquished it.

Stremick ended the game – in which the Bulldogs could not cut the Irish lead closer than two – with a kill for the 2-0 match advantage.

Freshman Megan Fesl contributed 10 kills and 14 digs in the Irish win.

Notre Dame 3, Duke 1

The Irish beat the Blue Devils in four games – 30-27, 19-30, 30-24 and 30-25 – to take two matches in a row for their first consecutive wins since a three-game run to open the season.

Stasiuk once again led the team in kills with 14 on 31 attacks – a .387 success rate – and added nine digs on defense. Fesl broke Herndon’s consecutive team-leading dig mark when she tallied 20 against the Blue Devils.

“I thought Megan Fesl had a pretty good weekend,” Brown said. “She had a really good match against Duke. Her hitting numbers may not have been real impressive, but she had 20 digs and was playing really steady all around.”

Notre Dame and Duke both finished with 63 kills apiece, but the Irish emerged with a .242 successful attack percentage to the Blue Devils’ .220 mark. The Irish also out-dug their opponent with a tally of 59-58.

Notre Dame rallied from a second set loss to take consecutive games while hitting .342. The third game went Notre Dame’s way after the team opened up on an 11-4 run to overcome a one-point Duke lead. Sophomore Mallorie Croal gave the Irish a 2-1 lead with a kill.

Stasiuk took the match with back-to-back service aces in the fourth game. The aces finished a game in which the Irish gained an early 12-6 lead and never relinquished it.

The Irish took the opening game in the match on a Blue Devil attack error, after it had been deadlocked at 22-22. Duke, however, took the second game with a 19-9 run after the two teams were tied at 11.

Arizona State 3

Notre Dame 0

The Sun Devils (8-3) defeated the Irish 30-20, 30-20, 30-28 to take the Classic title and equal their win total from the 2005 season.

The Irish fought the sweep in the third game, as the two teams exchanged several leads and were tied five different times – mostly after both squads had eclipsed the 20-point mark. The Sun Devils prevailed, however, and took the game in which neither team led by more than three points.

“I think the main thing was that we just had breakdown in serving and passing,” Brown said. “That’s just the fundamentals – everything stems off of that.”

Arizona State took an early lead in the first game and held on as the team never trailed on the way to a 1-0 lead. The second stanza was more of the same, as the Sun Devils only gave up their lead once and took a 2-0 advantage on an identical score.

Freshman kills-leader Christina Kaelin missed the match due to a migraine, which Brown said, “was unfortunate, we didn’t have any depth because of that.”