Sept. 2, 2007
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COLUMBIA, Mo. -
Sophomore Megan Fesl (Arlington Heights, Ill./John Hersey) registered a team-high 20 kills and senior Adrianna Stasiuk (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) parlayed 14 kills with eight digs as Notre Dame earned its first win of the season over Florida International Saturday evening at the Hearnes Center.
The 3-2 (28-30, 30-27, 21-30, 30-24, 15-9) victory moved the Irish to 1-3 on the season while FIU evened its record to 2-2.
"It's great to get a win and I was glad to see how the team responded with their backs to the wall late in the match," said head coach Debbie Brown. "We played much more efficient in the later games and our subs executed well when they were called upon. Tara (Enzweiler) did a great job of coming in and blocking for us, and because of that we were able to take two of FIU's better hitters out of the match. That ended up being a big key in the win."
ND overcame 21 service errors and was down 2-1 at one point before taking the final two games.
The Irish surged ahead to a 4-0 lead in the fifth frame on an ace by sophomore Jamel Nicholas (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland), and Fesl kept the lead at four with a kill to make the score 9-5. Stasiuk put ND up by five before an ace by freshman Kellie Sciacca (Monument, Colo./Lewis-Palmer) pushed the lead to six at 13-7. A block by junior Justine Stremick (Landgon, N.D./Langdon Area) set up match point for the Irish but Yarimar Rosa kept the Golden Panther pulse beating with a kill to make it 14-9. Nicholas proceeded to dish out the game-winner to Stremick to wrap up Notre Dame's win.
Rosa punched in a game-high 24 kills while teammate Olga Vergun finished with 22. Sophomore Serinity Phillips
(Valley Center, Calif./Valley Center) had 15 kills for Notre Dame on 36 attempts.
Notre Dame took the opening point of the match with the first of Fesl's five kills in the stanza and never looked back until the game's latter stage. Phillips' second kill of the game put Notre Dame up 5-2, and Stasiuk let loose with an ace to give ND a five-point lead at 9-4. FIU rallied back with five-straight tallies before Stremick broke the tied game with a kill but the Golden Panthers would take the lead, 11-10, on Rosa's converted attack. Fesl answered with a shot to tie it back at 11-11. Sciacca and Phillips would team for a block to put the Irish ahead by a deuce, 14-12. Ahead 15-13, the duo teamed up again to give ND a three-point lead. Stasiuk threw one down to give ND a 17-13 advantage, and would add another to bring the count to 18-14. After FIU cut the lead to 19-18, Fesl put together two kills and Puente chipped in an ace to make it a four-point game. The Golden Panthers came right back to close the gap at 28-27 and would tie it with Vergun's kill and an ace by Rosa put FIU up 29-28. Vergun ended the scoring with her game-high sixth kill.
Neither team led by more than three scores but managed to bind the score 16 times with four lead changes in game two. Trailing 14-13, Sciacca fisted a wild ball that caught the net and managed to fall over for a 14-14 draw. Things turned into a block party late in the game as Stremick, Enzweiler, Sciacca, and Phillips all had blocks over the final stretch.
Notre Dame trailed for most of game three, and managed to dwindle the spread to 20-18 from a five-point deficit. Some fiery play out of a timeout closed it to one score, 20-19, before the Golden Panthers finished with a 10-2 run.
Brown's Irish return home to host the Shamrock Invitational (Sept. 7-9), opening play against College of Charleston on Friday at 7 p.m. (ET) in the Joyce Center.