Oct. 16, 2008
CHICAGO, Ill. – A complete team effort surged the Notre Dame volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-18) BIG EAST Conference win Thursday during the DePaul’s Dig for the Cure match at McGrath Arena. The Irish (10-9 overall, 5-2 BIG EAST) were led by sophomore Kellie Sciacca’s seven kills and seven blocks with junior Christina Kaelin adding 10 kills. DePaul (2-17 overall, 1-6 BIG EAST) received a match-high 11 kills from Sarah Cullen.
Notre Dame hit .317 behind 27 assists from junior setter Jamel Nicholas. Junior Serinity had eight kills and freshman Kristen Dealy contributed six of her own. The Irish hit over .300 in the final two frames, registering a .375 clip in the second set and a .324 mark in the final stanza.
An emotional DePaul crew hung with the Irish early, keeping the score tied at 11-11 before Kaelin let loose with a shot from the left side for the score (12-11). She hit from the same spot at 13-12 then junior Kim Kristoff feigned the swing and went with the push shot to make it a 16-15 contest. The Irish would keep the lead after that point though the set began with nine ties prior to the play. Sciacca turned back a Blue Demon attack (24-20) then teamed with senior Justine Stremick for a block to wrap up the set.
Phillips struck early and often in the penultimate set with a pair of kills and one of her four blocks for the contest. She had two blocks assists with junior Tara Enzweiler before Enzweiler went off the block to double-up DePaul, 16-8. Freshman Megan Barnicle went with the cross-court attack (20-12) and scored again when her shot grazed a DePaul hand and fell for the kill. Nicholas went over on the second ball (24-14) to put her team in position for set point, which Phillips converted with a kill.
A tied set three leaned Notre Dame’s way with a crafty tip from Dealy (8-7). Junior Megan Fesl made the most of her time on the court with a pair of kills on four swings and helped Notre Dame build a 22-17 cushion when she and Stremick blocked yet another Blue Demon shot. Freshman Frenchy Silva’s dig turned into an overpass that resulted in a kill (24-18) en route to the sweep.
Notre Dame begins the first leg of a three-match roadswing that covers the continental United States over the next week with an Oct. 21 matchup at Long Beach State. The Irish return to campus for a few days before taking off for Villanova (Oct. 25) and Seton Hall (Oct. 26).