Oct. 17, 2009
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Senior outside hitter Christina Kaelin had 18 kills and sophomore outside hitter Kristen Dealy tacked on a double-double as the Notre Dame volleyball team swept Pittsburgh, 3-0 (32-30, 25-21, 25-22) Saturday at Fitzgerald Fieldhouse. The first-set victory was the highest scoring set for Notre Dame in the 25-point era while the win snapped a four-match losing streak to the Panthers.
The Irish (12-4 overall, 6-0 BIG EAST) will put their flawless league mark on the line Sunday (Oct. 18) at West Virginia.
Dealy steadied Notre Dame with 13 kills and 13 digs as senior outside hitter Serinity Phillips added 11 kills and five blocks. Dealy also had five blocks.
Pittsburgh (13-8, 5-2) received 13 kills and 15 kills from Amy Town. Notre Dame out-hit Pittsburgh, .287 to .222.
Pitt took a 6-1 lead in the first as Kaelin came through with Notre Dame’s first manufactured point and Silva followed with an ace. Kaelin had to more kills to bring the Irish to within three (8-5) and Dealy reeled off a pair to tie things at 8-8. Notre Dame took a 9-8 lead when junior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca went backdoor to cap a 5-0 run. The Panthers went back ahead and led, 20-17, with Notre Dame coming within one point on four occasions. Pitt led by 24-21 the Irish fought off three set points as Phillips tied the period at 24-24 by bouncing an overpass, following with a shot down the right line.
Kaelin got her 10th kill of the match on her first swing of the second period and another kill on the next play. The Irish enjoyed a favorable 12-4 margin and held onto the lead for most the frame. Nicholas, who originates from the Pittsburgh area, had a kill and an ace to keep Notre Dame’s lead at eight (14-6). Notre Dame led, 24-17, and let Pitt score four straight before a Panther service ace gave the visitors a 2-0 lead heading into intermission.
Notre Dame hit .368 in the second after hitting .327 in the first.
The Panthers opened the third with a 5-2 run which became a 6-5 Irish lead on a Pitt hitting error. Dealy connected from downtown at 13-10 with Sciacca and Phillips teaming for a block one play later. The Irish sat on a 24-19 lead with Pitt scoring the next three.