Sept. 6, 2009
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Senior outside hitter Christina Kaelin had 13 kills and senior setter Jamel Nicholas logged a double-double with 36 assists and 15 digs as Notre Dame dropped a 3-0 (25-19, 31-29, 25-20) non-conference volleyball match to No. 7 Michigan. The Sunday showdown wrapped up the Xavier Invitational at the Cintas Center for Notre Dame (3-3).
Michigan (5-0) got 20 kills from Juliana Paz and 14 more from Alex Hunt. The Wolverines hit .390 including an errorless third set.
The Irish return home next week to host the Notre Dame / adidas Invitational. Wisconsin and New Mexico State will be visiting the Irish at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
The two teams stepped things up in a pivotal second set that had 13 tied scores and three lead changes. Notre Dame stared at set point after a Lexi Zimmerman attack error (24-23) and Michigan would eventually get the win after converting its sixth set point.
The Irish led by four earlier in the set when freshman libero Christina Theofilos stepped in to serve and Kaelin capped off the rally by bouncing an assist from junior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca at 12-8. Michigan closed to within 21-20 on an Irish error and eventually tied the set at 23-23 with a Zimmerman kill.
Kaelin had eight kills in the frame before Michigan tallied its final point on a Sloane Donhoff ace.
Michigan started the match by surging ahead to a 17-10 lead in the opening frame and never looked back.
The teams sat at 5-5 in the third when Michigan scored four straight en route to the victory.
Adding to the Irish offensive attack was freshman middle blocker Hilary Eppink who finished the first period with four kills on seven errorless swings. While making her first career start, Eppink took a Michigan defender off her feet with a kill after the match’s opening serve and finished the afternoon with eight kills and a .438 average. She added a pair of blocks including a solo stop.
Sophomore outside hitter Kristen Dealy was solid with seven kills and nine digs with one ace.