Aug. 26, 2006
NOTRE DAME, IND. – In front of an excited and vocal crowd of 1,534 fans, the No. 21 Notre Dame volleyball team (1-0) opened the 2006 season with a victory for the 16th consecutive time in downing Bowling Green (0-1) 3-0 at the Joyce Center on Saturday evening, August 26. The game scores went 30-24, 30-28, and 30-26.
The Fighting Irish jumped out to the early lead in the first game as a kill from freshman Christina Kaelin’s (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) increased the ND lead to 11-4. The Falcons would tighten the game up at 16-11 on a kill from senior Stephanie Swiger. Notre Dame would rally though and finish off the Falcons on the kill from freshman Tara Enzweiler (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) to take the first game 30-24.
The second game one was a back and forth affair with the Irish jumped out to an early 7-1 advantage, only to see the Falcons rally and to get to within two at 9-7 on the Swiger kill. The rest of the match was evenly balanced as both team attempted to get into aa offensive rhythm. The closest BGSU could get was 22-19 on another Swiger kill. A Kaelin kill finally swung the tide in the favor of the Irish for good at 28-21 off the assist from junior Ashley Tarutis (Long Beach, Calif./Los Alamitos). The Irish would go and take the second game by the close margin 30-28 and a big advantage.
The Fighting Irish sensing the match victory was in their grasp, again jumped out to an early advantage in the third and final game. A 5-0 run to start the game capped off by another Kaelin kill off the dish from Tarutis gave the Irish the early momentum. The Falcons would rally and score ten of the next 14 point to take the lead on the kill from Corey Domek. Notre Dame then put together a run of their own and tied the game up at 18 all on the kill from sophomore Justine Stremick (Langdon, N.D/Langdon Area). Kills by Kaelin and junior Adrianna Stasiuk (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) gave the Irish a 24-21 advantage. Kaelin finished off the Falcons with kills on back-to-back plays to give the Fighting Irish the game three win and the match victory.
Kaelin, in the first match of her college career, was spectacular leading the team with 24 kills. Both Notre Dame setters, Tarutis and freshman Jamel Nicholas (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) also played well. Tarutis led the squad with 27 assists while Nicholas picked up 15 in the victory. Senior libero Danielle Herndon (Plant City, Fla./Durant) led the Irish with 17 digs. The Falcons were led in defeat by Corey Domek, who all had 13 kills.
The Fighting Irish have now won their lidlifter every season since coach Debbie Brown took over the program in 1991, an impressive 16 times.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will next take the court on Friday, September 1 with a 7 p.m. match against Valparaiso on the first day of the Shamrock Invitational.