Sept. 26, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame started the weekend with a 3-0 win Friday over West Virginia and replicated the feat Sunday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion against Pittsburgh, defeating the visiting Panthers by respective scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-14.
With the BIG EAST Conference volleyball win, the Irish improved to 9-5 overall (2-0 BIG EAST) as Pittsburgh dropped to 6-11 (1-1). It is the third straight year Notre Dame has swept the opening weekend of BIG EAST play.
The Irish continue league action next weekend at USF (Oct. 1) and Georgetown (Oct. 3).
Sophomore Hilary Eppink led all players on the day with 12 kills and four blocks. Freshman Andrea McHugh posted nine kills and seven digs with junior Kristen Dealy bringing home eight kills and a match-high 15 digs.
Notre Dame hit .239 as six different players recorded at least one kill. Freshman Sammie Brown dished out 31 assists and had two aces, two kills, two blocks and seven digs. Freshman Sam Brown put down four kills on seven errorless swings and added four blocks.
Amy Towns had 11 kills and Kiesha Leggs added 10 for Pittsburgh, who hit .139 for the match.
The final stalemate of the first set came at 7-7, followed by a 3-0 Notre Dame run punctuated by Brown’s first ace. Eppink had two late kills to seal the deal and was joined in the stat column by Dealy and McHugh with four converted strikes apiece.
Eppink posted five kills in the second period on 13 errorless swings as the Irish fell behind, 10-7. The Pittsburgh rally quickly ended with a 5-0 Irish run. Two kills by Sciacca midway through the set came before a couple more Eppink kills at the end of the frame to mirror the results of set one.
Notre Dame’s best hitting of the match came in the third set, when 31 attacks yielded 12 kills and just one error for a .355 average. On the heels of scoring the last two points of the second, the Irish scored the first seven of the third. It turned into double-digit lead on Sciacca’s kill at 20-10 and remained that way for the rest of the match.