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ND Volleyball: Great start leads to win over Rutgers

Pat O'Brien | Monday, October 8, 2007

Notre Dame wasted no time when it stepped on the court Saturday to take on Rutgers, defeating the Scarlet Knights 3-0 (30-16, 30-18, 30-20) at home.

It was the 11th time Rutgers (3-12, 1-5 Big East) has been defeated in a shutout.

Notre Dame (7-8, 3-2) never let off of the throttle during three games. Starting with a few big kills by freshman middle blocker Kellie Sciacca, the Irish jumped to a quick 12-5 lead in game one. The Irish ended the first game with a .560 hit percentage.

Games two and three were much of the same with the Irish completing 7-0 and 8-0 runs to start off each game.

Notre Dame finished the match with a .433 attack percentage – its best since Oct. 21, 2005 when it took down South Florida with a .451 clip.

Junior middle blocker Justine Stremick finished with a .706 hitting percentage – the first Irish player to hit over .700 in a match since last season over South Florida, when Stremick hit .750. Senior captain Adrianna Stasiuk also hit over 50 percent with a .550 mark.

Stremick finished with 13 kills in the match while Stasiuk added 12 more along with 10 digs. Both Sciacca and sophomore outside hitter Serinity Phillips finished with eight kills while Phillips also added eight digs.

Senior setter Ashley Tarutis paced the Irish with 24 assists while sophomore setter Jamel Nicholas added 16 helpers. Freshman libero Angela Puente also recorded seven digs.

“It’s always great to contribute to the team with whatever lineup we are using, getting in there playing and setting,” Nicholas said. “It’s always good to do something positive for the team. Winning big and having control of the entire game will give us a lot of confidence going into the next few games that we have in the conference.”

For the Scarlet Knights, sophomore outside hitter Kyra Thompson finished with eight kills and eight digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Jamie Godfrey led the team with 11 digs. Junior setter Roxy Calder ended the match with 13 assists and five digs while freshman outside hitter Emma Chrystal recorded six kills, eight assists, and three digs.

Notre Dame is off until Oct. 12 when it travels to Marquette to face the Golden Eagles at 7 p.m.