Sept. 5, 2010
RENO, Nev. – A three-set sweep came before a five-set barnburner for the Notre Dame volleyball team Saturday at Nevada’s Virginia Street Gym. The Irish split their two non-conference contests on the final day of the Nevada Invitational to head home with a 4-2 overall record.
Notre Dame’s 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-17) win over Weber State to start the day was offset by a 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 11-25, 25-15, 15-12) defeat to Nevada.
Senior Kellie Sciacca and freshman Andrea McHugh were each named to the all-tournament team. Sciacca hit .338 with 2.46 kills/set and 1.31 blocks/set in the event. McHugh went for 3.31 kills/set and 2.00 digs/set while totaling a team-high 52.0 points across the three matches.
The win over Weber State (0-7) was the first sweep for Notre Dame on the season. McHugh posted 11 kills on a .409 clip with five digs in the win. She was flanked by Sciacca’s nine kills and five blocks, three of which came in the form of solo stuffs to match a career high. Sophomore Hilary Eppink posted eight kills with one error on 11 swings for a .636 average and a match-high eight blocks. Sophomore Marie Roof added six blocks and was one of six Irish players with at least one rejection.
Notre Dame out-blocked Weber State, 15.0-2.0, while hitting .363 compared to the Wildcats’ .024 average. The Irish hit .323, .429 and .357, in the respective sets, and held Weber State to -.038, .000 and .094.
Freshman Sammie Brown dished out 17 assists and classmate Maggie Brindock got in on the action with 13 helpers. Freshman Nicole Smith was solid with two kills and two blocks, although her day was highlighted by four aces. Three of those came during a back-to-back-to-back spurt from behind the line in the first set. Five more players recorded at least one ace for Notre Dame in the contest.
The Irish had a pair of 12-point leads in the second set, their largest of the match, and actually trailed in each of the three frames.
A 2-1 lead over the Wolf Pack in the closing match was not enough for the Irish despite limiting Nevada (4-2) to 11 points in the third period. Seven of the 15 knotted scores came in the fifth set, as did two of the three lead changes on the night.
Junior Kristen Dealy fired home 19 kills with 15 digs and three blocks. Sciacca stayed solid with 12 kills and seven blocks, and McHugh secured a double-double with 17 kills and 16 digs.
Roof led the Irish with two aces and junior Frenchy Silva had 12 digs.
Brown accounted for 47 of the team’s 54 assists as the Irish hit .205, punctuated by a .619 average (14-1-21) in the third set. Nevada hit .188 in the match.
Nevada relied on Kylie Harrington and her 17 kills in the winning effort. Both Janelle Batista and Grace Anxo had eight blocks.