Oct. 20, 2004
PROVO, Utah – Just one day after upsetting #14 Utah in three games, the University of Notre Dame women’s volleyball team (10-6) could not hold on to a two-games-to-one advantage, eventually falling 29-31, 30-23, 20-30, 30-26, 15-11 to Brigham Young (11-8) Wednesday evening in Smith Fieldhouse in front of a crowd of 1,693. The Irish will complete a busy week on Sunday with their BIG EAST Conference home opener, in which they will play host to St. John’s at 2 p.m. (EST) in the Joyce Center.
After the Irish won the first point of the decisive game, BYU captured the next six to take a commanding lead. The Cougars would go up by six, at 8-2, before Notre Dame got back into the game. The Irish would pull back to within two at 12-10 and 13-11, but a block by Lauren Richards and Lindsy Hartsock and then the 18th kill of the match by Kim Wilson handed Brigham Young the match. BYU ended the final game with four blocks and eight kills on .333 hitting.
Notre Dame used a balanced offensive attack, but junior MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) led the team with 14 kills, marking her 14th consecutive match with 11 or more kills. It is the fourth-longest streak of double-digit-kill performances in school history.
Senior OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) hit well, finishing with 13 kills and only two errors for a team-best .333 hitting percentage. Freshman OPP Adrianna Stasiuk (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South H.S.), who also had a match-high three service aces, notched 13 kills, as well, while junior OH Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) notched a dozen.
Brigham Young notched a .254 hitting percentage, but 12 of the 30 Cougar attack errors came on Irish blocks. Junior MB Carolyn Cooper (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South Academy) was Notre Dame’s leader, taking part in half of them. Junior captain L Meg Henican (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman H.S.) led the floor game with 15 digs, while Stasiuk added 13 and Brewster had 11.
The Irish ended up hitting just .165 on the match, despite a .375 mark in the opening game. A major factor in that was BYU’s defense, which notched 16 blocks (accounting for more than half of the 30 Notre Dame attack errors) and dug up 74 balls.
The Cougars jumped out to an early five-point advantage in the opening game (9-4), but that proved an aberration in a frame that featured 13 ties and seven lead changes. With the score tied 29-29, the Irish finally got consecutive kills from Stasiuk to win the game. Loomis was Notre Dame’s top hitter, as she converted half of her eight swings for kills.
In the second game, Notre Dame held multiple leads of two points early (the latest coming at 12-10) before BYU used a 7-1 run to go ahead for good. The Irish fought back to within one point on three occasions, but with their lead at 23-22, the Cougars rattled off six straight points and then, after a Brewster kill, ended the game with a seven-point win. Notre Dame struggled offensively, finishing with just nine kills and 10 errors – with five of them coming on BYU blocks – for a -.023 attack percentage.
Brigham Young continued its momentum early in game three, building a 7-3 advantage before Notre Dame used Stasiuk’s serve to win five straight points, including two aces an a pair of Brewster kills. The game was tight then – featuring nine ties – until the Irish won three in a row to go up 16-13, a lead they would not relinquish. After BYU pulled within one at 18-17, Notre Dame ended the game on a 12-3 run.
The Irish appeared to be ready to close out the match in four, as they took a lead of as many as five (8-3) early in the next game. But BYU would come back and the game was close throughout, with the Cougars finally pulling ahead for good at 22-21 and holding on for a four-point victory. Brigham Young had 21 kills on .362 hitting in the game.