Oct. 24, 2001
The University of Notre Dame volleyball team lost its fifth road game of the season at Saint Louis (30-16, 27-30, 21-30, 27-30) Wednesday evening. The 20th-ranked Irish are now 13-5 on the season after losing their first match to a non-ranked team. Saint Louis improves to 9-9 in 2001.
Notre Dame looked solid in its game-one victory, earning the 30-16 win behind solid hitting from Malinda Goralski and Kristy Kreher. Kreher helped the Irish jump out to an early lead with five consecutive kills on five swings. Meanwhile, the Billikens committed 12 attack errors in the first game, while the Irish scored on 13 of their 33 attacks with just one error (.364 hitting).
Saint Louis was able to reverse the hitting trend in games two and three while seizing control of the match. While the home team hit .364 and .370 in the middle games, Notre Dame was held to .143 and .286 marks. Even as Goralski and Kreher hit for 10 and 13 kills, respectively, the Billiken defense was able to hold them to a combined .180 hitting percentage.
The Irish continued to block well throughout the match, led by Goralski’s eight block assists. Notre Dame would total 16 team blocks in the contest, but the net play was unable to carry the Irish through a nip-and-tuck fourth game.
Saint Louis jumped out to a 7-3 lead in game four before the action was stopped for approximately 10 minutes due to a controversy over an Irish reception error. After the Irish were ruled out of rotation to give the home team an 8-3 advantage, Notre Dame roared back into the game. Kristen Kinder performed the key play with a solo block to cut the Saint Louis lead to 13-12, then an Irish team block tied the score.
Notre Dame eventually edged ahead 22-20, but SLU’s Colleen Hunter, who scored a match-high 26 kills (on .321 hitting), came back with a solo block and kill to tie the game.
Eventually, four Irish attack errors transformed a Billiken 23-22 lead into a 28-25 count Notre Dame was unable to recover from. Saint Louis’ Ember Knobeloch put the match away with a kill to give the home team the upset victory.
Notre Dame will continue their road trip at Providence on Oct. 28.