Oct. 11, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Eight team aces and 13 kills by freshman Kristen Dealy powered Notre Dame to win No. 600 in program history Saturday against West Virginia at the Joyce Center. The Irish (9-8 overall, 4-1 BIG EAST) now sport a 600-343 (.636) overall record in their 29th season of varsity action.
Notre Dame looks ahead to an Oct. 11 (Sunday) meeting with Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. (ET) in the program’s second annual Dig for the Cure match.
After committing 17 service errors last week at Cincinnati, Notre Dame received four aces from Dealy – tying for team-bests on the season with freshman Beth Wildermuth – and a pair from junior Megan Fesl to rattle the visiting Mountaineers (6-11 overall, 0-5 BIG EAST). Junior Christina Kaelin had 11 kills with only error for a .500 clip to lead an Irish team that hit .370 in the contest. Assisting on 26 of the 43 Irish kills was junior Jamel Nicholas, and senior Justine Stremick had four blocks including a solo stuff at the net.
WVU was led by Michelle Kopecky’s seven kills. The Mountaineers hit .095 with a match-best .136 performance in the first set.
Just the third ace of Kaelin’s career came early in set one (2-1) and sophomore Megan Dunne followed with another at 5-2. Dunne was one of three Irish players with at least seven digs, with Dealy leading the team with eight. Dealy had back-to-back aces to make it a 20-12 set as she totaled three aces in the frame.
Sophomore Kellie Sciacca had seven of Notre Dame’s 14 kills in the first period and finished with nine shots for scores in the contest.
In the second set Dealy resorted to the tip for a point at 8-5, but WVU forced four ties before the Irish made their move. With the score reading 15-13, Notre Dame posted 10 unanswered points capped off by a pair of kills by junior Kim Kristoff including a well-placed ball to the opposite corner off Nicholas’ set. Nicholas steered the home team to a .500 clip in the frame.
WVU scored the first point of the final set as the two teams battled to five knotted counts and three lead changes. Dealy gave the Irish the lead for good with a strong swing from the left side followed by an ace (7-6). Three streaks of a trio of unanswered points kept the Irish in control, and at one point in the latter phases of the set each of Notre Dame’s four freshmen (Megan Barnicle, Frenchy Silva, Wildermuth and Dealy) shared the court for the first time this season.