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    Notre Dame Stumbles At No. 21 Cincinnati

    FIGHTING IRISH Kristen Dealy had three solo blocks during a 3-0 loss Sunday at Cincinnati.
    Kristen Dealy had three solo blocks during a 3-0 loss Sunday at Cincinnati.

    Oct. 10, 2010

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    CINCINNATI - No. 21 Cincinnati downed the Notre Dame volleyball team, 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-19), in a BIG EAST Conference volleyball match Sunday evening at Fifth Third Arena. The Irish dropped to 11-7 overall and 4-2 in league play, while the Bearcats moved to 17-3 and stayed unscathed against BIG EAST opponents (6-0) as a national television audience watched on ESPNU.

    The loss was the second straight for Notre Dame, who had won its first four league matches heading into the weekend. The Irish now look ahead to a date with DePaul at Purcell Pavilion on Friday (Oct. 15) at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

    Cincinnati extended its home winning streak to 35 matches, the second-longest home streak in the nation behind three-time defending national champion Penn State. The Bearcats have now won a school-record 27 sets in a row since rallying from a 2-0 deficit for a win over No. 5 Illinois on Sept. 17.

    The Irish were led by freshman Andrea McHugh's 12 kills with senior Kellie Sciacca adding 11. Sciacca now needs three more for 1,000 career kills.

    The Irish hit .204 for the match, highlighted by a .375 clip in the second set.

    Junior Frenchy Silva had seven digs with freshman Sammie Brown pacing the Irish with nine. Junior Kristen Dealy had a match-high three solo blocks.

    Stephanie Niemer had a match-high 20 kills and Annie Fesl dished out 42 assists as the Bearcats hit .424. Entering the weekend, Niemer led the BIG EAST and ranked fourth in the nation averaging 5.29 kills/set, while Fesl was second in the conference and seventh in the country with 11.84 assists/set.

    McHugh put Notre Dame on the board with a kill to end the first play of the match, and sophomore Hilary Eppink had the next two kills while Sciacca slammed another to make it 4-3 in favor of the Irish. A Sammie Brown attack error was followed by back-to-back-to-back aces from Cincinnati's Becca Refenes to put the home team ahead, 8-4. Out of an Irish timeout, Sciacca went backdoor for her second kill but Cincinnati posted three unanswered.

    Dealy had a flurry of solo blocks to help bring the Irish within a pair (14-12) and McHugh punched in two kills from the left side, though Cincinnati spurted out to win the set by eight points.

    Refenes had two kills and two blocks in the set, while McHugh led all players with five kills.

    The first three points of the second were won by Cincinnati and Dealy brought the Irish within one after a kill at 10-9. Niemer and Emily Hayden turned on the gas for the Bearcats with an array of shots to earn a 19-14 advantage to eventually take the set.

    The Irish had a pair of leads early in the third but Cincinnati was the first team with 10 scores, reaching the mark with a four-point cushion. Trailing by six on a few occasions, Sciacca closed it to three on a slider at 22-19 to force a Bearcat break in the action. Cincinnati came back to score the next three, including an ace by Niemer on match point.



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