Oct. 12, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Nore Dame volleyball team dropped a 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-23, 25-20) contest to Pittsburgh during the team’s second annual Dig for the Cure match that raised over $6,000 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Sunday at the Joyce Center. The Irish (9-9 overall, 4-2 BIG EAST) recorded 55 digs and received 21 kills from junior Christina Kaelin but could not find an answer for Kelly Campbell of Pitt (12-8 overall, 5-1 BIG EAST) and her 22 kills.
Kaelin’s performance puts her in a four-way tie for third place on Notre Dame’s career list for matches with 20+ kills (6). She had 20 against Eastern Washington earlier this season.
Pittsburgh hit .273 for the match and got 20 digs from Michelle Rossi, one of four Panther players with at least 10 digs in the match. The Panthers have now won each of the past four regular-season meetings with the Irish and are the only BIG EAST team that holds a multi-match win streak versus Notre Dame.
Junior Jamel Nicholas had a career-high 54 assists and freshman Kristen Dealy finished with 10 kills and 14 digs for her fourth double-double on the season. Junior Serinity Phillips had 13 kills for the Irish.
After appearing to seize control of the opening set, Notre Dame found itself staring at a 12-12 scoreboard when Pitt’s Meagan Dooley leaped for a pair of her four blocks in the frame. The teams continued to battle as Notre Dame forced a tie at 19-19 by acing the heart of the Panther defense. But after a timeout Pittsburgh silenced the storm by scoring the next three points of the set.
Notre Dame came out on top of the second frame when Phillips locked the door on set point after Stremick’s tip found paydirt one play earlier. It was the home team’s most efficient frame in terms of hitting percentage, as the Irish locked a .457 average with 17 kills and only one error. The period saw 11 tied scores and four lead changes.
Trailing by six in the third set (17-11), Notre Dame scrapped its way to force a pair of late ties with the last coming at 20-20. Several ensuing extended rallies resulted in Panther scores as the visitors escaped with a two-point set win. Phillips had a strong kill at 24-22 then teamed with senior Justine Stremick for a block at 24-23 before set point went Pitt’s way.
Notre Dame battled from behind in a fourth set that saw Kaelin register seven kills. Pitt came out of the gate with a 6-1 run that Notre Dame dwindled to two as late as 18-16. The Panthers scored on the next four rallies to secure the win.
The Irish visit DePaul on Thursday (Oct. 16) for a BIG EAST showdown starting at 7:30 p.m. (CT). Live stats will be available at UND.com. For up-to-the-minute scores and stats, sign up for IRISH ALERT text messaging services at UND.com