Freshman Frenchy Silva and the irish look to start the BIG EAST portion of Notre Dame's schedule off on the right foot Friday evening at USF.

Irish Open BIG EAST Play At USF

Sept. 25, 2008

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – NOTRE DAME, Ind. – As winners of two of its previous three matches, the Notre Dame volleyball team travels to USF on Friday to face the Bulls in both team’s BIG EAST Conference opener. The match will take place at 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the The Corral on the campus of USF.

Notre Dame (5-7) swept Liberty and UC Irvine during last week’s Golden Dome Invitational before falling to Western Michigan in five sets. The Bulls (9-5) won four straight matches in the USF Tournament last week. Sophomore Mariana Thon was the tournament MVP as she accumulated 139 assists, 10 aces and digs.

Georgetown (7-6), who plays host to Notre Dame on Sunday, also won three matches last week in the Georgetown Classic two weeks ago.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(5-7 overall / 0-0 BIG EAST)

USF Bulls
(9-5 overall / 0-0 BIG EAST)
Live video / audio / stats:

Georgetown Hoyas
(7-6 overall / 0-0 BIG EAST)

Series Notes …
– The Irish have won 51 of 62 games with Georgetown, including each of the last 20 … this season’s meeting will be the 19th overall between the two squads and 14th in as many seasons, with the Irish riding an nine-match winning streak over the Hoyas … the teams have twice played five-game matches, with the Irish prevailing in both (1999 and 2001 BIG EAST Tournament semifinals) … the lone victory for Georgetown was a 15-11, 15-10, 15-8 triumph in the title match of the 1999 BIG EAST Championship in Pittsburgh, which made the Hoyas the first team to defeat Notre Dame in the conference tournament … the schools played twice before the Irish became a member of the BIG EAST … the Irish won 15-1, 15-6, 10-15, 15-6 at Georgetown in 1986 in the first-ever meeting and were victorious again in four games during the 1992 William & Mary Invitational … the teams have played three times in the BIG EAST Championship, with the Irish winning in 1998 (3-0) and 2001 (3-2) … Georgetown’s 1999 win snapped an eight-match losing streak against the Irish.

– Three players combined for 53 of Notre Dame’s 72 kills during the 2007 matchup between Notre Dame and USF … Serinity Phillips and Justine Stremick each had 18 kills and Megan Fesl totaled 17 in front of a Joyce Center crowd of 1,205 … both Stremick and Phillips also had seven blocks … Kellie Sciacca had 10 kills on 18 swings with an error for a .500 mark, as the Irish managed to finish the afternoon with a .275 hitting percentage … the offensive efforts of Phillips and Stremick merged to total half of Notre Dame’s 30 points in game one … Stremick killed 15 shots against USF in 2006 and her .750 hitting percentage was the highest mark for Notre Dame on the season and the highest for an Irish player that averaged at least four attacks per game since 2001 … Notre Dame swept the Bulls in the first meeting between the programs in 2005 then again in 2006 … the 20-point margin in the first game of the 2005 match is tied for second-largest margin of victory for Notre Dame in a game.

Last Season’s BIG EAST Opener …
Notre Dame split a pair of matches during its BIG EAST opening weekend in 2007 … the Irish fell to Pittsburgh after an epic fourth set that saw the two teams combine to score 82 points … there were 27 ties and 15 lead changes in the elongated period, and Notre Dame’s Adrianna Stasiuk contributed nine of her 14 kills in the game … 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 … Notre Dame proceeded to tackle West Virginia one day later in Morgantown.