Oct. 12, 2012
CHICAGO, Ill. - The Notre Dame volleyball team pulled out a pair of close sets against BIG EAST foe DePaul as it won its fourth straight match with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 26-24) victory over the Blue Demons Friday at McGrath Arena in Chicago, Ill.
The Irish were led by their usual suspects up front as sophomores Jeni Houser and Toni Alugbue each had 13 kills and senior Hilary Eppink had 10 kills while hitting .500 for the match. Houser hit .407, while Alugbue added nine digs. Freshman Taylor Morey led the squad with 20 digs and two service aces and junior Maggie Brindock led the Irish in assists with 42. Junior Andie Olsen had a team-high six blocks and four kills.
Notre Dame dominated the Blue Demons on offense, pounding out 53 kills to just 34 for DePaul.
“We had a very balanced attack tonight led by Hil, Jeni and Toni,” said head coach Debbie Brown. “Taylor also had a great day on defense and served well, including ending the match with a service ace.”
The Irish trailed virtually the entire first set, often times by more than three points. With its back against the wall at 23-19, Notre Dame cut the lead to two on a kill by Alugbue and a block from Houser and Olsen. DePaul got to set point with a kill by Aubree Hord, but the Irish ran off the final five points to win the set in dramatic fashion. A service error gave the Irish the serve with the ball in Alugbue’s hands. Two consecutive kills by Brindock got the score to 24-24. After a DePaul timeout, Olsen pounded home a kill to give the Irish set point. Houser gave Notre Dame the 1-0 lead with a kill to end the set.
Notre Dame cruised through set two as it jumped out to a huge lead and never looked back. Winning by seven at 20-13, sophomore Erin Klosterman served up an ace to push the lead to eight. Later in the set Olsen had a kill to move the score to 23-17 and an Alugbue kill gave Notre Dame set point at 24-18. An attack error by the Blue Demons gave the Irish a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
Another thrilling 26-24 set victory gave the Irish the 3-0 sweep. Tied at 22, DePaul ran off two points in a row to claim a 24-22 advantage. But has been the case of recent, the Irish didn’t give up as they knotted the score at 24 on a DePaul service error and a kill from Eppink. A kill by Houser and a service ace from Morey sealed the contest.
Notre Dame continues its road trip next weekend as it heads to Georgetown on Friday night before meeting Villanova on Sunday afternoon. Both matches can be followed via live stats, with links available on UND.com.