Oct. 31, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame volleyball fans received a pair of Halloween treats Saturday as the Irish dealt Seton Hall a 3-1 BIG EAST Conference loss in the opening match of the newly renovated Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The 25-18, 25-19, 22-25, 25-18 victory bumped Notre Dame’s overall record to 15-4 as the team has also won each of its nine BIG EAST contests.
“I’m really pleased with the win and I think that Seton Hall played very well against us,” Irish head coach Debbie Brown said. “As a team, we responded well to the pressure put on us when it counted.”
Sophomore outside hitter Kristen Dealy had 18 digs and accounted for 18.0 points with 16 kills (.483), two blocks and a service ace to open the match. Three more Irish players – senior outside hitters Christina Kaelin (13) and Serinity Phillips (12) along with junior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca (10) – recorded double-figure kills. Notre Dame had 58 kills and 10 fewer errors than Seton Hall’s total of 23.
Senior setter Jamel Nicholas paced the Notre Dame offense to a .346 hitting clip with 49 assists as the Irish also hit .400 with 19 kills in the fourth set.
Notre Dame totaled 11.5 blocks and limited Seton Hall (9-16 overall, 3-6 BIG EAST) to a .229 hitting average. Six different players record blocks for the Irish, led by Sciacca’s six. Senior middle blocker Tara Enzweiler and Phillips each had four.
The win gave Notre Dame a 7-0 record in the month of October.
Seton Hall did not record a kill until the 11-4 mark of the first set. The Pirates chipped away at the Irish lead but Kaelin knocked down three kills after the 16-14 mark and Slatt daggered the defense with an ace on set point. The visitors hit .114 in each of the first two sets.
The Pirates continued to hang around in set two but Dealy had five blocks in the period along with Phillips’ three rejections to chalk up the win. Phillips had back-to-back stuffs to give Notre Dame a 22-18 lead that held for the remainder of the frame.
Notre Dame gave up four-straight scores after intermission but rallied to tie things at 17-17 and 18-18. Seton Hall got out to a three-point lead (22-19) and traded the last six rallies with the Irish. Sarah Osmun, who led Seton Hall with 16 kills for the day, had four in the third set. It was just the second set won by the Pirates in the 15-match series history.
Neither team recorded a block in the fourth but Phillips, Sciacca and Dealy each had four kills.
The Irish return to action Sunday (Nov. 1) at home against Rutgers. Live video, audio and stats will be available at UND.com.