Senior Justine Stremick stuffed eight shots Sunday against Western Michigan.

Irish Outlasted By Western Michigan At Golden Dome Invitational

Sept. 21, 2008

Final Stats | Photo Gallery 1 media-icon-photogallery.gif | Fan Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif | Photo Gallery 3 media-icon-photogallery.gif

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three Notre Dame players registered at least 12 kills in a non-conference volleyball meeting with Western Michigan on Sunday, but their efforts were not enough to turn back the visiting Broncos on the third and final day of the Golden Dome Invitational. Western Michigan posted a come-from-behind 3-2 (17-25, 16-25, 25-16, 25-20, 15-9) win at the Joyce Center despite 13 Irish kills from both sophomore Kellie Sciacca and freshman Kristen Dealy. Dealy had 17 digs with seven blocks and junior Christina Kaelin tagged on 12 kills.

The Irish (5-7) appeared to have control of the match after cruising through the first two sets but could not drop as many kills in the later stages of the battle, managing only nine kills in both the third and fourth sets. A .303 hitting average in the first set resulted in a .173 team clip for the match, though senior Justine Stremick carried a .444 average with eight kills on 18 swings without an error. She also had eight blocks.

Setters Jamel Nicholas (30 assists, 10 digs) and Beth Wildermuth (18 assists, 11 digs) each posted double-doubles and sophomore Megan Dunne led the team with 22 digs.

Western Michigan (9-2) received 24 kills from Michelle Moore and 24 digs from Caitlin Strimel.

A kill by senior Mallorie Croal in the first set (8-5) ignited a Notre Dame spurt that would see the home team run the count to 20-13. Western Michigan closed the gap to 20-17 when Dealy and Stremick teamed for one of Notre Dame’s 13.0 team blocks. Dealy delivered an ace on the ensuing serve to put the set out of the Broncos’ reach. Stremick finished with two kills and three blocks in the set with Sciacca adding three kills and an ace.

Notre Dame built a 10-point lead in the second set (20-10) and added another to its total when Dealy’s attack clipped the net and fell to the floor (21-10). Croal ripped a pair of her five kills on the final two plays of the set.

An 8-4 Irish lead in set three soon flipped as the Broncos exploded with a 15-3 run. Notre Dame built a 7-3 advantage in the fourth set but played from behind after Western Michigan took an 11-10 lead. The Irish did tie set five at 2-2 but dropped behind by a 12-6 margin. Stremick stepped in front of two Bronco attacks to help bring Notre Dame within three (12-9), but that was as close as the Irish would get.

Notre Dame finished with a 2-1 record at the Golden Dome Invitational and returns home Oct. 11 against West Virginia. The Irish will be on the road for the next two weeks with BIG EAST Conference trips to USF (Sept. 26), Georgetown (Sept. 28), Louisville (Oct. 4) and Cincinnati (Oct. 5).

Golden Dome Invitational All-Tournament TeamMVP - Jaime Gotham (Western Michigan)Michelle Moore (Western Michigan)Caitlin Strimel (Western Michigan)Christina Kaelin (Notre Dame)Kristen Dealy (Notre Dame)Chelane McCarty (Liberty)Kari Pestolesi (UC Irvine)