Oct. 10, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Returning to its home floor for the first time in two weeks, the Notre Dame volleyball team will face Pittsburgh (Oct. 12) and West Virginia (Oct. 11) this weekend at the Joyce Center. Sunday’s match with the Panthers coincides with the program’s second annual Dig for the Cure match.
A four-match road trip spanning from Sept. 26-Oct. 6 brought Notre Dame’s overall record to 8-8 with a 2-2 mark versus BIG EAST Conference opponents. With one win this weekend, the Irish will sit on program victory No. 600. The Irish are paced by junior Christina Kaelin who is swinging at a .402 rate in league contests for 4.36 kills/set.
Notre Dame has partnered with the Susan G. Komen For the Cure grassroots network of Northern Indiana to present the Dig for the Cure in an effort to raise money towards breast cancer research.
“We’re very excited to host our second annual Dig for the Cure match,” Irish head coach Debbie Brown said. “We were very pleased with the results from last season and hope to not only increase the level of giving but the awareness in our community for this cause.”
Lisa Marston, the Charlotte volleyball coach who wanted to get her team involved in a community service project, helped kickstart Dig for the Cure in 2003. The concept started at the local level and now includes over 100 college and high school teams participating annually.
The Susan G. Komen For the Cure group hopes to raise over $250,000 in 2008. Notre Dame raised over $6,000 in 2007, the sixth-highest total raised by participating programs last season.
Fans will be afforded a number of opportunities to show their support for this event. Brown will donate $5 for each of her team’s digs during the match against the Panthers, and the Irish welcome fans and local businesses to match or exceed that amount.
Commemorative adidas Dig for the Cure t-shirts are currently available for purchase at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, Varsity Shop and each home volleyball match. Fans wearing the shirt to the Pittsburgh match will be admitted for free. A number of other promotional items – including pink Crocs – will be distributed at the match as well. Proceeds from shirt sales will be donated to Susan G. Komen For the Cure.
Each Irish player will be wearing a commemorative jersey donated by adidas during this BIG EAST showdown to recognize the event and each jersey will be auctioned off at the end of the match. A live auction will take place during intermission of the Oct. 12 match featuring autographed t-shirts and game balls along with additional volleyball memorabilia. There will be a silent action for fans to place bids on game-worn jerseys.
Live stats, video and audio will be available at UND.com for each of the two matches this weekend. For up-to-the-minute scores and stats, sign up for IRISH ALERT text messaging services at UND.com
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(8-8 overall / 3-1 BIG EAST)
West Virginia Mountaineers
(6-10 overall / 0-4 BIG EAST)
Oct. 11 â€¢ 2 p.m. (ET) â€¢ Joyce Center
Live video / audio / stats: und.com
(10-8 overall / 3-1 BIG EAST)
Oct. 12 â€¢ 2 p.m. (ET) â€¢ Joyce Center
Live video / audio / stats: und.com
Bump, Set, Spike …
â€¢ Notre Dame suffered its first BIG EAST loss of the 2008 season in a 3-1 defeat at Cincinnati … despite the setback the Irish did manage to hit .619 in the third set, the highest single-set average of the season … Christina Kaelin poured in a match-high 17 kills on a .467 clip but the Irish could not overcome 17 service errors in front of 994 fans, one of the venue’s largest crowds to ever view a volleyball match … the Irish service error total was the highest of the season and the most since the 2007 team faulted 21 times against Florida International on Sept. 1 … Kaelin, a Louisville native, tallied 14 kills in a homecoming match of sorts in front of a packed Cardinal Arena Saturday afternoon versus UofL … the junior outside hitter hit .344 in Notre Dame’s win, the first sweep on the Cardinals’ home floor since the first ever meeting between the two programs on Oct. 11, 1986 … it was just the fourth sweep over Louisville for Notre Dame in the 22-match series history … Serinity Phillips, seeing her first action since an injury two weeks ago, had 11 kills against the Cardinals.
â€¢ One victory this weekend will give Notre Dame its 600th overall win … Notre Dame is 599-343 (.636) in its 29th season of varsity competition … the Irish are also 142-17 (.898) in BIG EAST regular-season play … this is the 14th season of BIG EAST membership for the Irish … earlier this season Notre Dame earned its 200th home win under head coach Debbie Brown.
â€¢ Round three of the `Fesl Feud’ pitting sisters Megan (Notre Dame) and Annie (Cincinnati) against each other went the way of the Bearcats on Oct. 5 … the match, televised nationally on ESPNU, resulted in a 3-1 Cincinnati win … Megan and the Irish still lead in the overall Fesl Feud series, 2-1.
Series History … â€¢ Notre Dame and Pitt are meeting for the 17th consecutive season and the 27th time overall … the 17-year streak of at least one contest against the Panthers is Notre Dame’s longest versus any current foe … Notre Dame downed conference foe Pittsburgh 15 consecutive times between 1992-2002, but since then Pitt has taken five of the last seven meetings, including a 3-1 home win for the Panthers in 2007 … in that battle, Notre Dame combined to score 82 points with Pittsburgh in the fourth game of a match that was also both team’s BIG EAST Conference opener … there were 27 ties and 15 lead changes in the elongated period, and Adrianna Stasiuk contributed nine of her 14 kills in the game after playing libero for the first two sets … the Irish set a school record for most points in a four-game match (131), and tied the program’s mark for the fourth-highest point total in an affair of any length … their 40 points in game four was the most ever won in a single game, eclipsing the previous high of 37 in game one of a 3-1 victory over Eastern Washington in 2003 … the Irish actually outscored the Panthers, 131-130 … the 131-point total is tied for second in NCAA history for points scored in a four-game match with 30-point scoring format … the 40 points in game three is tied for 18th for points scored in a single frame with 30-point scoring format … the combined score of 256 is the highest of any four-set match in NCAA history … the schools first met in 1984 in Pittsburgh, with the Panthers winning 3-0 … the Irish eliminated Pitt from the 1994 NCAA Tournament’s second round with a four-game win in the Joyce Center … the BIG EAST era has seen the Irish win 14 of 19 matches, with the teams playing in the league tournament on six occasions … Notre leads in games won, 60-39 … in 1996, Notre Dame’s Denise Boylan tallied 86 assists at Pittsburgh, which is the second-highest assist total ever recorded by an Irish player.
â€¢ Notre Dame has not dropped a match to WVU since a 3-0 loss in 1998 … the Irish coasted to a 3-0 win over the Mountaineers during the 2006 campaign won by a 3-1 count in 2007 … WVU won the first-ever meeting between the two teams, earning a 3-2 edge in the 1991 National Invitation Volleyball Championship postseason tournament in Fairborn, Ohio … during that contest, Notre Dame’s Jessica Fiebelkorn posted the highest hitting percentage ever for an Irish player in a five-game match, with 13 kills and only two errors on 20 swings for a .550 mark … the Irish and the Mountaineers will meet for the 15th consecutive season and 16th time overall … Notre Dame has won 13 of the previous 15 contests, including the last nine … the teams played twice before the Irish joined the BIG EAST Conference in 1995 … the Irish gained their first win over the Mountaineers in 1994 at the Joyce Center in four games … after winning the next three in straight games, Notre Dame lost in Morgantown in 1998, which marked just the second loss to a conference team in 50 matches since becoming a BIG EAST member … the Irish lead 41-10 in games won … in 1994 match with WVU, the Irish set a Joyce Center record with 15 service aces, including six by Angie Harris, which is tied for the third-highest total in school history.
Pitt Patrol … Pittsburgh comes to Notre Dame after facing DePaul on Saturday (Oct. 11) … under the guidance of first-year head coach Toby Rens, the Panthers (10-8 overall, 3-1 BIG EAST) are out-blocking opponents 172.5-131.5 on the season … in league play, the Panthers lead 56-33.5 in the same category, including 2.3 blocks per set … Hannah Swysgood recorded a career-high 12 block assists while Meagan Dolley had nine block assists versus Georgetown … the Panthers were on a seven-match win streak prior to splitting last weekend’s contests against USF and Georgetown.
Meet (West) Virginia … West Virginia is still in search of its first league win this season … the Mountaineers (6-10 overall, 0-4 BIG EAST) are fresh off a win over Robert Morris this past Wednesday … outside hitter Kylie Armbruster led the Mountaineers as she posted her fifth double-double of the season with 13 kills and 10 digs in the latest victory … Bonnie West chipped in 21 digs and a season-high four aces.
Take a Bow … Christina Kaelin was part of the BIG EAST Conference’s honor roll on Oct. 6 … she led the Irish in kills and hitting percentage in each of the team’s two matches this past weekend … fired in 14 kills on a .344 average during her homecoming match against the Cardinals … the Louisville native also added one dig and one block versus the Cardinals … finished with a match-high 17 kills on a .467 average at Cincinnati with one ace and five digs in the four-set affair … she totaled 18.0 points in the Irish loss … the junior averaged 4.43 kills/set on the weekend with a .403 average.