Oct. 2, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Lola Arslanbekova knocked down 28 kills on a .375 clip with 14 digs and four blocks to lift visiting Louisville over Notre Dame in BIG EAST Conference volleyball action Sunday at Purcell Pavilion. Louisville responded after hitting .026 in the first set to post the 3-1 (17-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-21) win while handing Notre Dame (8-6 overall, 1-3 BIG EAST) its third straight loss.
The Irish looked crisp in the opening set while hitting .237 and receiving four blocks from both sophomore Andrea McHugh and freshman Toni Alugbue to set the tone for a great all-around team effort in the frame.
McHugh, who finished with nine kills, had four converted attacks in the opening set as Alugbue wrapped up the match with nine kills of her own.
Junior Hilary Eppink’s solo bock made it 19-9 in favor of the Irish but Louisville (12-4, 4-0) came within six points at 22-15 after Notre Dame committed four attack errors during the Cardinals’ 5-0 run.
Houser’s tip over the double block on set point – her fifth of the period – ended a first frame that saw Louisville hit .026. The Cardinals responded with a .519 attack avg. in the second while hitting .283 in the contest. By contrast, Notre Dame’s worst hitting set was the second (.083) with the Irish registering a .174 mark on the day.
Houser had 10 kills (.348) against her hometown squad and Eppink led the Irish with 12 kills (.364). Seven of senior Frenchy Silva’s team-high 17 digs came in the first set. Senior Kristen Dealy added 12 digs and six kills.
Louisville used a 5-2 run after a 5-5 stalemate in the second to help pick up its first win on Notre Dame’s home floor since 1996 and the first in BIG EAST regular-season play. Emily Juhl, who had 13 kills (.400) for the Cardinals, was held to a pair in the second but went on to knock down four in the third and six more in the fourth.
Arslanbekova had seven in the second set and nine in the third.
Notre Dame led 3-0 to start the third set with Louisville countering with a 5-0 run.
Silva came through with a huge scoop to keep things running for Brown to dish a quick set to Alugbue which tied things at 6-6.
Back-to-back blocks from Eppink and sophomore Maggie Brindock made the score 13-10 in favor of Notre Dame. Juhl had a kill and an ace to make it 16-16 and Cardinal setter Taylor Brauneis, who had a match-high 56 assists, went over on the second touch to give Louisville a 17-16 lead.
Notre Dame went on to lead by a pair, 20-18, when Louisville fed Arslanbekova for six kills to help end the set.
With the scored tied at 7-7 in the fourth, Louisville’s 8-2 run to make it 15-9 was too much for Notre Dame to overcome.
BIG EAST play continues for Notre Dame next weekend with road matches at Pittsburgh (Oct. 8) and West Virginia (Oct. 9).