Nov. 5, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s volleyball team (14-6, 7-0) delivered a 30-20, 30-15, 22-30, 30-20 victory against Connecticut (16-8, 5-2) in a key BIG EAST Conference match Friday evening in the Joyce Center. The Irish, who will continue a five-match homestand on Sunday at 2 p.m. (EST) against Boston College, claimed a win against the Huskies, who were in a three-way tie for first place in the league a week ago.
Freshman setter Ashley Tarutis (Long Beach, Calif./Los Alamitos H.S.) led Notre Dame’s offense to .345+ hitting in three games and a .299 attack percentage for the match. She finished with 44 assists, matching her second-best total for a four-game affair, and was an effective offensive weapon, as well, turning seven errorless swings into five kills for a .714 attack percentage. She also added 11 digs for her seventh double-double.
Four Irish players ended up with 10+ kills, as junior OH Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) led the way with a match-high 16 kills on a .387 hitting mark despite sitting out the first 30 points of the third game after Notre Dame had registered decisive wins in the first two games. Junior MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) and freshman OPP Adrianna Stasiuk (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South H.S.) both had 13 kills, while senior OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) added 10. Junior MB Carolyn Cooper (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South Academy) had seven kills on .316 hitting.
Notre Dame’s floor defense was strong, and it was a big factor in holding UConn to a .162 attack percentage. The Irish outdug the Huskies 71-66, with Stasiuk notching a season-best 18 digs and junior captain L Meg Henican (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman H.S.) ending up with 17. Brewster just missed a double-double, ending with nine digs, a total matched by sophomore DS Danielle Herndon (Plant City, Fla./Durant H.S.).
The Irish block was inconsistent, but ended with 12 for the match, just shy of its conference-leading average of 3.22 that ranks 12th in Division I. Notre Dame was led by Brewster, who had a pair of solo blocks and three block assists. Kelbley, who had a match-high 20 points, was in on four blocks, including two of the solo variety, while Cooper and Stasiuk had three apiece.
Connecticut was led offensively by ’03 second-team all-BIG EAST performer Jamie Hadenfeldt, who had 12 kills, despite the Irish limiting her to just .139 hitting. She also added 18 digs to lead the Huskies’ defense. Megan Crawley led the Connecticut block, taking part in six of the Huskies’ 11 blocks, as well as adding 11 kills.
Game one was close early, but Notre Dame won five straight points after holding a 10-8 advantage and it would not allow UConn to get back into the game. The Irish, which hit .375 in the frame due in part to five kills on .400 hitting from Kelbley, went up by as many as 12 (27-15) en route to a 10-point victory.
The second game also was tight early, as the Irish again led 10-8. Notre Dame then used a 20-7 run to finish the game, in which it had 16 kills on .419 hitting.
After the break, Connecticut was reinvigorated, and the Huskies never trailed in game three, hitting superbly and going up by as many as 10 (six times) before extending the match with an eight-point triumph. The Huskies hit over .400 for much of the game before ending with 18 kills on .326 hitting to go with five blocks and 25 digs that held the Irish to just a .135 mark.
The final game was tied four times early, but Notre Dame took the lead for good at 5-4 and opened up advantages of as many as 11. The Irish had 21 kills on .347 hitting, including seven kills on a .385 mark from Kelbley.