Oct. 9, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Notre Dame saw its 19-match BIG EAST Conference regular-season winning streak come to an end Saturday morning at Cardinal Arena, as Louisville handed the Irish a 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17) defeat. The Irish also had such streaks of 45 and 35-straight matches without a loss in BIG EAST play.
The BIG EAST volleyball rivalry lived up to the billing, and resulted in the end of the nation’s sixth-longest league winning streak. The two squads were no stranger to long matches, as the contest was the fourth straight and seventh in the last 10 meetings that did not end in a sweep.
Notre Dame now travels to Cincinnati on Sunday (Oct. 10) for a matchup with the Bearcats which will be televised live at 5:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPNU.
Junior Frenchy Silva had 18 digs, though Louisville (9-5, 4-1) had five players with double-digit scoops despite losing starting libero Lindsey Mango in the first set due to an injury. Caitlin Welch had a career-high 19 digs for the home team.
Emily Juhl led the Cardinals with 16 kills and had two of the team’s five aces. The Irish struggled from behind the service stripe with 11 errors. Louisville out-blocked Notre Dame, 12.0-5.0, while sophomore Hilary Eppink had three blocks along with freshman Sam Brown.
It was the first time Notre Dame was out-hit in a league match in 21 consecutive outings (.291 to .173), dating back to 2008.
Louisville’s hitting progressively improved throughout the match, posting respective clips of .059, .216, .414 and .556 in the four sets. Sciacca hit .367 with three errors on 30 swings for Notre Dame.
Dealy had seven kills in the first set but the Irish could not overcome 11 attack errors while hitting .065 as a team. Juhl had each of her two aces in the opener, one in the early stages and another on set point.
Senior Stephanie Slatt checked into the second set and dropped an ace into the right corner as Notre Dame doubled the score on UofL, 8-4. Eppink ended a Cardinal rally with a solo block at 13-6 for Notre Dame’s biggest lead of the set. McHugh had an ace and a kill to make it 20-16, as the Irish never trailed in the second.
Dealy started the third with a solo block but Louisville scored the next three and never looked back.
The fourth began with a McHugh error but she soon made up for it with a kill on the next rally. But again, Louisville rattled off three straight and went ahead to post the victory in convincing fashion, leading by 19-11 on a Sciacca error and kept the score at that margin for the duration of the stanza.