Oct. 6, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Behind a powerful front line that recorded 12 blocks and an offense that hit .400 for the match, the Notre Dame volleyball team rolled past BIG EAST foe Connecticut, 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-11), on Saturday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion.
Notre Dame came out swinging against the Huskies, pounding out 38 kills to just 26 for UConn. On defense the Irish had 12 blocks to just three for the Huskies. Notre Dame also showed great improvement serving, as it had six service aces and only six serving errors, with four of the six coming in a close set two.
The 3-0 win was the second in a row for the Irish as they took down Syracuse last Sunday in similar fashion.
Senior Hilary Eppink led the way for Notre Dame with her fourth match in a row with nine or more kills. Eppink tallied nine kills and had four blocks on the day. Sophomore Jeni Houser had eight kills in just 13 attempts for a .538 attack percentage and also had a team-high five blocks. Junior Maggie Brindock led the squad with 27 assists, while freshman libero Taylor Morey paced the Irish with 10 digs and three service aces. Sixteen players saw playing time for Notre Dame, with 11 student-athletes recording kills.
Notre Dame came out firing in set one as it rolled to a 25-12 victory. The Irish jumped out to a 7-2 lead and didn’t look back as they increased their lead to eight at 14-6 and to nine at 17-8. Sophomore Erin Klosterman came in to serve the final two points as freshman Annie Flynn recorded a kill and then Klosterman served up an ace to give the Irish the 1-0 lead. Eight different players recorded kills as the Irish hit an impressive .600 for the set.
The Huskies gave the Irish all they could handle in set two as UConn capitalized on Notre Dame errors to stay within four points the entire way. The Huskies held their last lead at 10-9 and had the contest tied at 14, before the Irish took over. Notre Dame ran off four points in a row behind two kills from Eppink and kills from Houser and Sammie Brown. UConn cut the lead to 22-20 with a kill from Devon Maugle, but Toni Alugbue answered with a kill of her own. After an Irish attack error cut the lead to two again at 23-21, a kill by Houser and a Husky attack error concluded the set gave Notre Dame the 2-0 lead heading into the break.
Notre Dame closed out the match in impressive fashion with a 25-11 victory in set three. Behind the serving of Maggie Brindock and Kathleen Severyn, the Irish jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead and never looked back. The squad increased their lead to 14-3 with Morey serving and held a 20-8 advantage after Andrea McHugh served. Leading 21-11, Notre Dame closed out the match with a kill from Meg Vonderhaar, a bad set from the Huskies, a kill from Andie Olsen and a block from Olsen and Sammie Brown. Notre Dame hit .391 for the set, while limiting UConn to a -.061 attack percentage.
The Irish (11-6, 4-1 BIG EAST) return to Purcell to close out their four-match home swing on Sunday when they battle the St. John’s Red Storm in a 2 p.m. match. Fans can follow the match on UND.com’s free online video or through live stats.