Oct. 23, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame’s “Dig Pink” match certainly lived up to its name.
The Fighting Irish scooped 62 shots – including a match-high 20 digs by senior Kristen Dealy – during Sunday’s 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-19) BIG EAST Conference volleyball win against USF in front of 1,460 fans at Purcell Pavilion.
Dealy was one of three Irish players with double-digit digs as senior Frenchy Silva (17) and sophomore Andrea McHugh (10) helped anchor a defensive effort that held USF (9-12 overall, 5-3 BIG EAST) to a .107 hitting clip.
Notre Dame (12-8, 5-3) partnered with Dig Pink, a national initiative devoted to promoting breast cancer awareness spearheaded by the Side-Out Foundation, to help raise money for the Secret Sisters Society of South Bend.
Valerie El Houssine led all players with 15 kills and Andrea Rodriguez Gomez blocked eight shots for the Bulls, who out-stuffed the Irish by a 13-7.5 margin. Alugbue had four blocks for Notre Dame.
Seven of USF’s blocks came in a highly contested opening frame that saw 14 stalemates and four lead changes.
Notre Dame hit .116 in the set – and .213 on the day – while receiving four kills from Dealy and Houser in the opener.
The Irish led by a trio at 11-8 while USF went ahead by a pair at 19-17.
Leading 21-20, USF committed three of its six service errors in the contest which eventually led to Dealy’s set-winning swing.
Notre Dame used its momentum from the first stanza to hit .378 in the second, ending the set on a 5-1 run.
That run carried over into the third when Notre Dame shot out to a 7-1 lead sparked by a pair of Houser kills.
Houser had four more kills in the second and stayed consistent with four in the third.
USF got on the board first with a kill from El Houssine but would never regain the lead.
After seeing its five-game road swing come to an end with the home victory, Notre Dame heads out of town once again next week with league games at Connecticut (Oct. 29) and St. John’s (Oct. 30).