Oct. 21, 2008
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Freshman Kristen Dealy finished with 16 kills and 11 digs for her team-high fifth double-double of the season Tuesday in a non-conference meeting at Long Beach State, but the Notre Dame volleyball team went on to drop a 3-1 (20-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-12) decision to the 49ers. The loss dropped Notre Dame’s overall record to 10-10 with matches at Villanova (Oct. 25) and Seton Hall (Oct. 26) coming up next for the Irish. Long Beach, who has been in and out of the top 25 throughout the season, improved to 16-4 with the victory in front of 1,454 fans at the Walter Pyramid.
Dealy finished with a .286 hitting percentage and added six blocks and one ace. Notre Dame blocked 15 shots as sophomore Kellie Sciacca punched in six stuffs and junior Tara Enzweiler added five. Four of Dealy’s blocks were of the solo version. Junior Serinity Phillips had a solid outing with 11 kills and 10 digs with three blocks.
Quincy Verdin of Long Beach had a match-high 21 kills on 33 attempts (.545).
Falling behind early in the first set, Notre Dame started to gain momentum with Sciacca’s putback at 2-4. The team then started the block party as Sciacca and Enzweiler teamed for a pair of blocks then Dealy and senior Justine Stremick each recorded solo blocks to make it an 8-10 game in favor of the 49ers. Stremick then delivered a backdoor kill (10-13) and Dealy converted from the left side to knot the count, 15-15. Another solo block by Dealy followed by a pair of cross-court kills gave Notre Dame a two-point cushion that junior Jamel Nicholas added upon with an ace at 21-18. Two more Irish blocks accounted for the final pair of points in the set.
Dealy had six kills in the set as Notre Dame hit for a .200 clip while blocking eight Long Beach attempts.
Long Beach took the first four scores of the second set and never looked back. A four-point run midway through the frame put the set out of Notre Dame’s reach (18-6) as the 49ers led by as many as 12 (21-9) at one point.
Coming out of intermission, Stremick got a kill on the slide (3-1) and Enzweiler swung from the right side and scored to give Notre Dame a 7-6 lead. The Irish held on to the advantage as Dealy was able to clinch the double-double in the early stages of the set. Phillips killed Dealy’s high set (15-14) and punched a backrow attack off the 49er block (20-17) to give the offense a kick. But with the score reading 21-20, Long Beach staged a 5-2 run before taking the win.
Long Beach came out with another 4-0 run in the final set halted by Dealy’s roller (4-1). But Verdin scored time and time again, shelving each of the 49ers’ first six kills as the home team coasted to take the set and match. Long Beach hit .345 in the final frame and finished with a .270 team average, compared to Notre Dame’s .138 mark.