Nov. 11, 2011
MILWAUKEE – Marquette hit .633 to win by double digits in the opening set of Friday’s BIG EAST Conference volleyball match with Notre Dame and never looked back while sweeping the Irish, 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-17).
Marquette (21-8 overall, 11-2 BIG EAST) would post a .385 hitting clip at the Al McGuire Center while Ciara Jones led all players with 18 kills on a .739 average.
In the latest installment of the increasingly competitive rivalry between the two programs, Marquette claimed stake to its fourth win in the last five meetings as this was the series’ first three-set match in the last eight matchups dating back to 1997.
Freshman Jeni Houser led Notre Dame (15-10, 8-5) with 10 kills as the Irish saw their three-match winning streak come to an end.
Six of Ashley Beyer’s 11 kills came in the first set as the Golden Eagles hit .633 with 20 kills and one error in 30 attempts.
Marquette posted a 3-0 run when the frame was tied at 4-4 and slowly added to that cushion for the win.
Consecutive Golden Eagle blocks helped the home team start the second on a 3-0 spurt. Freshman Toni Alugbue’s ace closed the Irish to within 5-4 and Notre Dame’s first block of the evening tied it at 6-6. Marquette battled ahead to a 21-15 lead but Notre Dame closed to within a pair at 22-20 when sophomore Andrea McHugh and Alugbue teamed for a block. Jones and Carol Henney repeated the favor for Marquette on set point as the Golden Eagles won three of the next four rallies.
McHugh would lead the Irish with 10 digs and Alugbue tallied each of Notre Dame’s two aces.
Junior Hilary Eppink had a hand in three of Notre Dame’s 5.0 blocks.
Houser had four of Notre Dame’s 11 kills in the third set. Leading 8-4, Jones had three kills during Marquette’s 5-0 run to help close the door on the contest.
Notre Dame now travels to Syracuse for both team’s regular-season finale at noon (ET) on Sunday.