Nov. 11, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame volleyball team fell 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-22) Sunday to Marquette at the Al McGuire Center in the final match before next weekend’s BIG EAST Tournament.
With the loss the Irish (20-7, 13-2 BIG EAST) finish the regular season tied for second in the BIG EAST with Marquette (24-5, 13-2 BIG EAST), but earn the No. 3 seed in the upcoming conference tourney based on losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Golden Eagles. Notre Dame will meet an opponent to be determined at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Friday in the quarterfinals at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee, Wis. If the Irish win Friday, they would play either No. 2 Marquette or the No. 7 seed at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday in the semifinals. The finals are set for 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
Sophomore Toni Alugbue led the Irish in kills with 10, and also added 10 digs and two blocks. Junior setter Maggie Brindock had three kills and 26 assists, while Jeni Houser had nine kills, eight digs and three blocks.
Notre Dame was undone by poor serving (one ace, five errors) and an attack percentage of just .148 as it had 17 errors and 33 kills.
The loss snapped Notre Dame’s 11-match win streak and was just the third sweep of the year, with the other two coming at No. 4 Nebraska and No. 5 USC. Notre Dame went 0-2 in BIG EAST play against Marquette and 13-0 against everyone else.
The Golden Eagles took the opening frame (25-16) after going on an 8-1 run to end the set. The early part of the set went back and forth, with neither team leading by more than three. The Golden Eagles held a slim 17-15 advantage when a pair of kills by Lehmen highlighted a 5-0 run that extended the lead to 21-15. After a ball-handling error on Marquette trimmed the margin to 21-16, the Golden Eagles went on a 4-0 run to end the set. A service error from the Irish and kills by Lindsey Gosh and Holly Mertens gave Marquette set point and a service ace from Catherine Mayer gave the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Marquette took a 2-0 lead heading into the locker room with a 25-17 win in set two. The Irish again allowed Marquette to go on a big run to end a set. With the score notched at 16, Marquette went on a 9-1 run to end the frame. Included in the run was a 7-0 run to push the margin to 23-16. The run included three Irish miscues, two kills by Lindsey Gosh and two service aces from Rachel Stier. After a service error on Stier, a kill by Danielle Carlson and an attack error on the Irish sent the two clubs into the break.
The Golden Eagles closed out the match with a 25-22 win in set three. Marquette led from the beginning and held a 22-17 lead before Notre Dame decided to make things interesting. Back-to-back kills by Andrea McHugh and Houser made the score 22-19 before the Golden Eagles scored two points to get to match point. Notre Dame scored three straight points on kills by Houser, Sammie Brown and Hilary Eppink, before another kill from Carlson ended the match.