Oct. 26, 2008
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Junior Christina Kaelin connected for 14 kills on a .440 clip and freshman Kristen Dealy racked her second double-double in as many days to lead the Notre Dame volleyball team past Seton Hall, 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-21). The victory over the Pirates in the BIG EAST Conference matchup Sunday at Walsh Gymnasium evened Notre Dame’s overall record to 11-11 and 6-3 versus league opponents. Seton Hall fell to 12-11 overall and 4-4 in BIG EAST play.
Notre Dame now returns to the Joyce Center for a Nov. 1 (Saturday) match with Syracuse starting at 10 a.m. (ET).
Dealy finished with 12 kills, two aces, three blocks, and 13 digs with 10 of those scoops coming in the first set alone. Senior Justine Stremick, junior Serinity Phillips and sophomore Kellie Sciacca each finished with seven kills as the Irish hit .266 in the three-set match. Philips and Sciacca added two blocks apiece.
Kaelin started the match with six kills as Dealy added four shots for scores in the first set as the Irish outhit the Pirates, 262 to .087. Notre Dame earned its first lead on a Pirate hitting error (7-6) but gave it right back with a service error. Trailing by three, Kaelin delivered a cutter (9-11) then went up the gut (10-12) before Dealy and Stremick teamed for a block on the left side to put Notre Dame on top, 14-13. Stremick added a solo block (15-14) and Dealy chipped in an ace (18-15) then converted a pair of backrow attacks (22-16) to close the curtains.
The Irish hit .359 in the second set with 17 kills and only three errors as Kaelin and Dealy each punched in five rockets. Dealy continued to excel from the backrow by burying an attack (8-4) and sophomore Megan Dunne aced the Pirates (10-5). Sciacca and junior Jamel Nicholas kept the block hot at 11-5 and then Sciacca went backdoor to cap off a 4-0 Irish spurt to force a Pirate timeout. Seton Hall came out of the break and scored the next two when Kaelin unleashed a screamer (13-7) followed by a smooth tip (14-7). Dealy added a kill from way downtown which clipped the net and dropped into the center of the Pirate defense (20-9) and bounced a pair of kills from the left side to bring the score to 22-10. The Pirates mounted a 6-0 run and narrowed the gap to 23-19, but that would be as close as the home team would get to the Irish.
The third set began with a Nicholas ace (1-0) and Notre Dame never looked back. Phillips soared for a solo block (6-4) and Dealy caught the Pirates napping by going over on the second touch (9-4). Kaelin went down the left line (14-10) to start a run that put the set in the bag. The Irish received a light break at the end of the set when Phillips’ kill ricocheted off a Pirate defender, hit the speakers above midcourt, and fell for the kill (23-18) to take the air out of Seton Hall.