NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
Three Notre Dame players posted double-figure kill totals and four had 10 or more digs during Sunday afternoon's 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20) non-conference volleyball win over Butler to wrap up the Shamrock Invitational at Purcell Pavilion.
Now 3-0 heading into next week's Stanford Invitational (Sept. 2-3), Notre Dame is off to its best start to open a season since also going 3-0 to begin the 2006 campaign.
Shamrock Invitational MVP Andrea McHugh led the Irish with 17 kills and 16 digs, as the sophomore averaged a tournament-best 4.83 kills/set.
Junior Hilary Eppink blocked three Butler (0-3) shots to lead the invite with 1.27 blocks/set.
McHugh and Eppink were named to the all-tournament team along with senior Frenchy Silva, whose 22 digs today led all players.
The Irish were aided by sophomore Andie Olsen's 11 kills with freshman Jeni Houser adding a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs.
Contributing to Notre Dame's seven blocks was senior Kristen Dealy, who had two solo stuffs with six kills and 10 digs.
Maureen Bamiro had 13 kills for Butler with all-tournament honoree Maggie Harbison chipping in 12 swats and three aces. With 10 digs, Harbison was one of five Bulldogs with 10 or more scoops and she also posted five blocks.
Notre Dame held Butler to .192 hitting - including a .059 clip in the fourth set - while slugging at a .206 rate. Eppink was efficient with six kills on a .357 average to lead the Irish.
McHugh converted early and often with eight kills in the first set, but one of her swinging errors gave Butler a 7-3 lead. The Irish mounted a fierce comeback to tie the score at 17-17 and used freshman Kathleen Severyn's smooth serving to take a 20-17 lead. Severyn added an ace during the stretch while sophomore Maggie Brindock dished out some of her 30 assists on the day to Olsen, McHugh and Dealy.
Sophomore Sammie Brown had 15 assists for the Irish while sharing setting duties with Brindock.
Notre Dame scored the first three points of the second and held on to the lead until Butler took advantage of four straight attack errors while going ahead, 17-15. Olsen tied it at 21-21 and Houser regained the lead for the Irish at 22-21. The next three went to Butler en route to its lone set win.
For the second straight time, Notre Dame opened the following set with a 3-0 run. An eight-point lead came at 20-12 on a Butler error, and freshman Toni Alugbue checked in to record a block assist and a kill to boost Notre Dame heading into the fourth.
Butler fell behind in the fourth, 14-9, only to later take a 17-16 lead. After a Bulldog error, Silva served Notre Dame to a 22-17 lead behind solo blocks by Eppink and Dealy.