Freshman Andrea McHugh turned in a double-double in a 3-2 win over Cal Poly.

Irish Go The Distance To Corral Mustangs In Five Sets

Aug. 28, 2010

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second straight night of the Shamrock Invitational presented by Hyatt Place at Purcell Pavilion, Notre Dame kept its volleyball fans biting nails on the edge of their seats. On the heels of a 3-1 comeback win over Marshall Friday evening, the Irish downed Cal Poly, 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 25-16, 16-25, 16-14), to improve to 2-0 on the season.

The Irish dropped the first set before taking the next two, and then scored 16 points in both the fourth and fifth frames for the win. Notre Dame overcame deficits in each of its three sets won, including six in the second and fifth. The victory gave Notre Dame a 3-1 record in the all-time series with Cal Poly (2-1), who went down at the hands of the victors for the first time since 2004.

The Shamrock Invitational concludes at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday (Aug. 29) when Notre Dame faces No. 18 Arizona.

Senior Kellie Sciacca had 17 kills and was matched in the block column by sophomores Marie Roof and Hilary Eppink with six apiece. Double-doubles were recorded by a pair of freshmen in Andrea McHugh (14 kills, 18 digs) and Sammie Brown (56 assists, 16 digs) with junior Kristen Dealy coming through with a team-high 19 kills and 14 digs.

In fact, it was Dealy who put the Irish on her back in the final set en route to slamming down three straight kills when Cal Poly had set point at 14-13. She also had five blocks, including Notre Dame’s only solo stuff. The Irish out-blocked Cal Poly, 13.5 to 11.

Notre Dame also won the serving game with five aces compared to a Mustang bagel. Sophomore Hilary Eppink had two aces, one of which started the third set. She would later end the frame with a kill on set point.

It wasn’t all chocolate and roses for Notre Dame, who was out-hit by Cal Poly on the night. The Mustangs registered a .202 average compared to Notre Dame’s .158. The Irish hit below .100 in the first, fourth and fifth sets. However, the home team was able to control the Cal Poly offensive threats of Dominique Olowolafe and Kristina Graven – both of whom had 15 kills – when it mattered most. The Mustangs’ powerful swinging duo combined for only two kills in the final set.

Cal Poly’s Alison Mort led everyone with 24 digs, and Frenchy Silva (10) was the fourth Irish player with double-digit digs.