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Irish fifth in Big East after one up, one down

Joe Meixell | Monday, October 15, 2007

For the third weekend this season, the Irish went 1-1 against two competitive conference teams.

The Irish first faced the Marquette. After defeating the Golden Eagles 3-1 in 2006, the Irish fell 3-1 (30-26, 20-30, 30-25, 31-29) Friday.

“We ended up beating ourselves against Marquette,” senior captain Adrianna Stasiuk said. “We did not have enough intensity, and we underestimated Marquette’s ability.”

Despite the loss, outside hitter Stasiuk led the team, by recording her double-double of the season with 19 kills and 13 digs. The Irish won the hitting percentage battle at .247 to the Golden Eagles’ .238. Sophomore outside and opposite hitters Serenity Phillips and Megan Fesl also recorded top-hitting scores. Phillips had 16 and Fesl attained 10. Senior setter Ashley Tarutis and sophomore setter Jamel Nicholas led the offense with 29 and 23 assists, respectively. Leading the Irish defense with 15 digs was freshman defensive specialist Angela Puente.

To finish up the weekend’s road trip, the Irish headed to Syracuse, where they dominated the Orange, earning a 3-1 (26-30, 31-29, 30-24, 30-24) victory.

“We decided that we were a team on a mission when we went into the match against Syracuse,” Stasiuk said. “We decided that we were going to win, no questions asked, and the team really bonded together in a great match. It was a total team effort.”

After losing the first game, the Irish rallied to win coach Debbie Brown her 400th Notre Dame victory.

The Irish attained a top hitting percentage with .371. Junior middle blocker Justine Stremick led the team in kills with 18, while Stasiuk recorded 17. Tarutis also recorded season-high 58 assists, and Phillips and Fesl each had 13 kills.

The Irish are 8-9 with a Big East record of 4-3. They are tied for fifth place with South Florida.

“We have been up and down this season, but we all have strong faith in our ability to finish successfully,” Stasiuk said.

The Irish will next host the DePaul Blue Demons Friday at 4 p.m.