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ND Volleyball: Irish face non-conference test against Bobcats

Laura Coletti | Monday, November 19, 2012

The Irish are looking to rebound from a Big East tournament upset this Friday when they take on Ohio.
Notre Dame (20-8, 13-2 Big East) faces the Bobcats (20-10, 14-2 MAC), with Ohio coming off of its own conference tournament disappointment. It was stunned by Northern Illinois in the semifinal round of the MAC tournament after earning the No. 1 seed.

South Florida defeated the Irish in the quarterfinal round of the Big East tournament after entering at the No. 3 seed. Both teams will be looking to return to their winning ways on Friday.

“We are all pretty disappointed with what happened at the Big East Tournament but there is nothing we can do about it now,” Irish junior outside hitter and captain Andrea McHugh said. “The biggest thing for us right now, is to make our practices great for our match against Ohio on Friday.”

McHugh said it’s not always easy for teams to have a positive mentality after an upset, but the Irish are spending this week focusing on working through the disappointment and getting ready for this match, as well as the rest of their postseason.

“I think it’s hard to bounce back from an upset sometimes, because you look at all the hard work you have put in throughout the season, and then to go home on the first day of the tournament is frustrating and disappointing,” she said. “But, it’s so important to work through adversity and come into the gym with more motivation and focus as a team so we can be successful.”

Ohio will be especially motivated on Friday, because much of their chance at a berth in the NCAA tournament is dependent on the result of their match against Notre Dame.    

“They are a bubble team and they have to beat us in order to have a chance at making it [to the post-season], so they are going to be fired up and more than ready to face us on Friday,” McHugh said.

As for what the Irish need to do in preparation for the match, McHugh said the team needs to concentrate on getting back to basics.

“It really just comes down to the simple things like communicating on the court and taking care of the ball on every play,” she said.

Last weekend, the Irish had three players garner All-Big East accolades. Outside hitter Toni Alugbue and right side hitter Jeni Houser, both sophomores, were named to the first team, while junior setter Maggie Brindock earned a spot on the second team. This was Brindock’s second consecutive year being named to the second team.

The Irish and the Bobcats will get underway at Ohio’s Convocation Center on Friday at 7 p.m.

Contact Laura Coletti at [email protected]