Oct. 23, 2009
CHICAGO, Ill. – The Notre Dame volleyball team won its eighth straight match Friday evening at McGrath Arena with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-12) victory over DePaul. The BIG EAST Conference showdown improved Notre Dame’s league record to a flawless 8-0. It was the seventh consecutive win for the Irish over the Blue Demons.
Notre Dame (14-4) returns home after three road matches – all sweeps – to host Seton Hall (Oct. 31) and Rutgers (Nov. 1) at the Joyce Center.
DePaul (6-16, 0-8) hit .000 for the match with 27 kills and 27 errors on 112 swings. The Irish swung at a .229 rate as senior setter Jamel Nicholas assisted on 23 of 36 kills. Nicholas also tacked on a team-high 10 digs and tossed in two aces to close the match.
Senior outside hitter Serinity Phillps led the Irish with eight kills. She also had six digs and three blocks. Helping the offensive cause was freshman middle blocker Hilary Eppink who had seven kills on eight swings with one error (.750) in two sets. Senior middle blocker Tara Enzweiler helped block three shots.
Sophomore libero Frenchy Silva finished with 10 digs while the Irish got defensive by limiting DePaul to respective hitting clips of -.108, .053 and .054 in the three sets.
Notre Dame took a 15-10 lead in the first on senior outside hitter Megan Fesl’s kill, and went on to score 10 of the next 12 points. DePaul had 10 errors after the 15-10 mark, four of which came courtesy of Irish blocks.
The first five scores of the second went Notre Dame’s way as the visitors expanded that lead to 13-1. Four service aces kept the Blue Demons in contention as they closed to within three, 23-20. Phillips stepped up with a pair of kills to put the set away.
Senior outside hitter Christina Kaelin’s kill at 16-10 in the third jolted the Irish to a 4-1 run. At 20-12, Notre Dame used Eppink’s solo block and both of Nicholas’ aces as part of a 5-0 spurt to keep its perfect league record.