Despite four aces from Frenchy Silva, Notre Dame fell to sixth-ranked Stanford, 3-1, Friday night at Maples Pavilion.

No. 6 Stanford Hands Irish First Defeat Of 2011

Sept. 3, 2011

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STANFORD, Calif. – No. 6 Stanford defeated Notre Dame, 3-1 (25-12, 25-13, 21-25, 25-23), Friday night at Maples Pavilion on the opening evening of non-conference volleyball action at the Stanford Invitational. Stanford (3-0) had not dropped a set on the season before faltering in tonight’s third period to the Irish (3-1), who were off to their best start to a season since 2006 prior to the defeat.

Notre Dame was victorious in its last meeting with (then) fifth-ranked Stanford in the form of a 3-0 home win in 2009.

The Irish will face St. Mary’s at 7:00 p.m. (PT) on Saturday. Live stats will be available at

Stanford drew first blood with sophomore Andrea McHugh putting Notre Dame on the board one play later. Notre Dame burned its second timeout of the set when the Cardinal marched ahead, 10-1, and it paid off when senior Kristen Dealy stopped the bleeding with a kill off the Stanford block.

McHugh added an ace at 12-5, but Rachel Williams and her nine first-set kills were too much for the Irish to overcome.

Williams had a match-high 22 kills for Stanford, who hit .284 as a team on the night.

Freshman Jeni Houser had three kills for the Irish in the opener. Houser led Notre Dame with 19 kills as the team hit .061. McHugh was held in check with six kills and 14 digs but had four aces.

Houser had the first Irish kill of the second, and after another Irish timeout Stanford rolled ahead to an 8-4 lead. Sophomore Sam Brown’s solo block came at 10-7 and McHugh’s strike cut the lead to a deuce, 10-8. The Cardinal would put up with little more, stretching its lead to as much as 20-9 before taking the frame, 25-13.

Again it was Houser who led Notre Dame offensively, bringing her kill total to eight on a .500 clip after the first pair of sets.

Behind 2-0 in the third, Houser struck twice and McHugh aced the Cardinal to give Notre Dame a 3-2 lead. Dealy was good for two kills and a Stanford error helped Notre Dame maintain its grip at 8-6 with a dump from sophomore Maggie Brindock.

An ace by freshman Kathleen Severyn followed by a kill from sophomore Andie Olsen gave Notre Dame its biggest lead thus far at 13-8. The Cardinal came back with an ace and two blocks before McHugh laid down an ace at 22-17. Houser added two late kills in the 25-21 win.

The Irish trailed by as many as seven in the fourth but scored 10 straight with senior Frenchy Silva behind the stripe. Silva had four aces during the 10-0 run to put Notre Dame on top, 20-17. Stanford countered with four points of its own to take a 21-20 lead. Dealy put Notre Dame within one, 24-23, before Jessica Walker hammered down one of her seven kills on match point.